Gene therapy shows promise restoring sight

October 26, 2009 1:47:50 PM PDT
An experimental gene therapy treatment is restoring sight to patients, and Pennsylvania researchers say the results are astounding. What they have done is inject a healthy version of a defective gene that's behind an inherited eye disease called LCA.

It's a rare disorder that slowly robs the vision of children and adolescents until they are totally blind.

The surgically implanted healthy gene helps restore eyesight by healing the damaged cells. According to a report in The Lancet medical journal, 12 people who received the gene therapy have made significant improvement in their eye sight.

Researchers are hoping the research will eventually help others with more common vision disorders such as macular degeneration.