Shepparton News

Researcher­s aiming high

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SYDNEY: An Australian researcher has unveiled his ambition to deliver new hope to 190 million people worldwide blinded by the loss of retinal cells known as photorecep­tors.

Currently there is no cure once the specialise­d neurons, which are responsibl­e for processing light and colour, become impaired.

The result is the onset of inherited retinal diseases like retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt’s disease and more common conditions like age-related macular degenerati­on.

However Dr Raymond Wong and his team at the Centre for Eye Research Australia in Melbourne are aiming to change that.

The group hopes to develop a gene therapy that will ‘‘switch on sight’’ by regenerati­ng photorecep­tors at the back of the eye.

Although in pre-clinical stages, being tested on cells in the labs, the research is the focus of this year’s Hope in Sight Giving Day.

Held to coincide with World Sight Day on October 14, the occasion aims to raise awareness of vision research and raise funds to develop and trial pioneering projects.

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