[AI] Gene Therapy Aids Youth's Sight

Chandrashekhar - chandrashekhar.hello at gmail.com
Tue Apr 29 21:58:56 EDT 2008

hello friend, thank you very much for sending this kind of mail.
atleast we can get sweet dreams near future among v i p of indian.
with best regards m.chandrashekar

On 4/29/08, shahnaz <shycurrim at yahoo.co.in> wrote:
>   Gene therapy 'aids youth's sight'
>                                                 By
> Pallab Ghosh
>                                                 BBC
> science correspondent
>                         Please turn on
> JavaScript.                        Media
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>                         See how the treatment
> has changed Stephen Howarth's vision
>                         A 17-year-old whose
> sight was failing has had his vision
> improved in a pioneering operation carried out by
> doctors at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
>                         The London researchers
> used gene therapy to regenerate the
> dying cells in Stephen Howarth's right eye.
>                         As a result he can now
> confidently walk alone in darkened
> rooms and streets for the first time.
>                         Stephen is the third
> person to have the operation, and the
> researchers expect even better results in future
> cases.
>                         Before the procedure,
> he could hardly see at all at night
> and in time he would have lost his sight completely.
>                         Confidence
>                         His condition was due
> to a faulty gene that meant that the
> light-detecting cells at the back of his eye were
> damaged and slowly degenerating
> further.
>                         But, in a delicate
> operation, surgeons at Moorfields injected
> working copies of the gene into the back of Stephen's
> eye.
>                         After a few months,
> doctors detected some improvements.
>                         But Stephen did not
> notice these changes until he confidently
> strode through a dimly-lit maze designed to test his
> vision.
>                         Until then he had kept
> walking into walls - and it would
> take him nearly a minute to walk a few feet.
>                         His doctors were shocked at
> the improvement.
>                         Professor Robin Ali, of
> the Institute for Ophthalmology,
> who led the trial, said: "To get this indication
> after only three patients is hugely
> exciting.
>                         "I find it difficult to
> remember being as excited as I am
> today about our science and what it might achieve."
>                         'Cracks in the pavement'
>                         The operation gave
> Stephen the confidence to try out his
> improved night-time vision on the streets near his
> home in Bolton.
>                         Before he had only been
> able to see the bright lights of
> passing cars, street lamps and brightly-lit
> buildings but, to his amazement, he found
> he could see beyond the bright lights. For the
> first time he could see the cracks
> on the pavement, the edge of the curb and markings on
> the street.
>                         He recently began
> walking home late at night from the railway
> station.
>                         James Bainbridge, the
> consultant surgeon who carried out
> the operation, said: "It's hugely rewarding and
> exciting to see that this new treatment
> can have this impact on a person's quality of life."
>                         Please turn on
> JavaScript.                        Media
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>                         'To not have to worry about
> losing my sight is great'
>                         Stephen also says that
> it has really helped his confidence.
>                         He is now able to
> socialise more late at night with his
> friends. And, as an aspiring musician, he says he
> can see the frets on his guitar
> better - and can move around more on a darkened stage.
>                         There may well be
> further improvements. But without the
> operation it was likely that Stephen would have lost
> his sight altogether.
>                         The prospect made him
> depressed. Now he says he can get
> on with his life.
>                         "When I used to think
> about it, it would get me really down
> and depressed. But now I don't have to think
> about it. It's a big burden lifted."
>                         Child sight hope
>                         The gene therapy has
> not improved the vision of the other
> two patients who have received it so far - but it
> may well stop their vision from
> declining further.
>                         Robert Johnson was the
> first person to undergo the operation,
> as reported by BBC News in May 2007.
>                         He welcomed the results
> so far: "For the team, I am thrilled
> that their hard work has come off.
>                         This is only the beginning
>                         James Bainbridge
>                         Surgeon
>                         "For me - I am simply
> pleased that I left what I entered
> with - a level of sight that gives me my freedom. What
> more could I ask for?"
>                         Professor Ali said that
> the team now hoped to treat children:
> "The next stage is to increase the dose of the
> gene which we anticipate will improve
> the outcome - and it's also to treat younger
> patients, who have better residual vision
> and in whom we expect to see a much greater benefit."
>                         Although the genetic
> condition that is being treated is
> rare, the researchers believe that their
> technique could be used to treat a wide
> variety of sight disorders, possibly even age-related
> sight loss.
>                         Mr Bainbridge added: "This is
> only the beginning.
>                         "What we've
> demonstrated so far is proof of principle that
> gene therapy can be used to treat a particular gene
> disorder."
>                         The research, which has
> been funded by the Department of
> Health, has been published online in the New England
> Journal of Medicine.
>                         Health Minister Dawn
> Primarolo said: "This is absolutely
> brilliant.
>                         "It's been done here in
> the UK with the expertise of the
> NHS and the science and research of the
> Department of Health all coming together
> to offer such hope for gene therapy for the
> correction of sight - but also for gene
> therapy generally."
> Story from BBC NEWS:
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