Gene Therapy Approach to Regenerate Damaged Optic Nerves

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have used gene therapy to regenerate damaged optic nerves in the eyes of mice, offering hope that this information could help in the development of new treatments for glaucoma.

The optic nerve isn’t normally able to heal once it is damaged, however research in the last few years has shown that it may be possible to stimulate nerves to regenerate.

In this study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists used a gene therapy approach to get nerve cells to make higher amounts of a protein called Protrudin. What they saw was that after optic nerve damage, nerve cells that were making more Protrudin were able to regrow the nerve, while cells without gene therapy didn’t regenerate.

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