Two treatments are better than one
Monday, April 22 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
Combining two treatments are effective in defeating certain inherited disorders that cause blindness.
In 2010, András Komáromy and colleagues at Michigan State University succeeded in reversing vision loss in puppies with achromatopsia by replacing the mutant gene associated with this disease. However, this treatment had only worked on dogs less than a year old. The researchers wondered whether this was due to the fact that the photoreceptor cells of older dogs were too degenerated. This gave rise to the idea of a second study.
“How about if we selectively destroy the light-sensitive part of the cones and let it grow back before performing gene therapy? Then you’d have a younger, less degenerated cell that may be more responsive to therapy,” explained professor Komáromy.
They were astounded by the results. “All seven dogs that got the combination treatment responded, regardless of age,” said András Komáromy. “Based on our results, we are proposing a new concept of retinal therapy. One treatment option alone might not be enough to reverse vision loss, but a combination therapy can maximize therapeutic success.”