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GOLDEN, CO, October 01, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Researchers from Tufts University published results from a study showing vision-saving gene therapy to the eyes can be delivered via nanotechnology. A protein called Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurtrophic Factor (GDNF) can protect the eyes from diseases of the retina, such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. The previous method for delivering genetic material with a virus had several problems and side effects.
Although the study is in its infancy, and the results are temporary, mice injected with the GDNF carrying nanoparticle had a 3.9 to 7.7-fold reduction in damage to the retina. Seven days after treatment, the GDNF-nanoparticle treated mice had up to 39% better eyesight than mice in the control group. Two weeks after the treatment, GDNF-nanoparticle-injected mice had nuclear layers of the retina that were almost 24 to over 39 percent thicker than control mice. However, after 14 days, these advantages seem to have vanished.
According to Dr. Brett Katzen of the Katzen Eye Group, and a member of eyes.com, "The idea of using gene therapy to help cure - or at least improve - the eyesight of patients with macular degeneration should be exciting to eye doctors everywhere. This is a great first step."
The research shows an incredible potential for nanotechnology to develop an effective carrier for delivering gene therapy. This therapy can then lead to a new generation of treatments for retinal diseases. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 65. There is currently no treatment for reversing this disease.
For more information about the Katzen Eye Group in Lutherville, Baltimore, or Towson, Maryland, please visit their website at www.katzeneye.com today. To research a particular vision disorder, eye condition, or any other eye care topic, please visit www.eyes.com today.
About Katzen Eye Group
The doctors and staff of Katzen Eye Group have served the residents of Baltimore since 1968 when Dr. Katzen's father began the practice with a secretary and a single patient. Today, the practice has grown into the largest private eye care practice in the state of Maryland.
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