Degenerative retinal disease affects millions of people around the world. The problem arises because the light-sensitive cells – the photoreceptors – die and are not replaced. However, thanks to new research and technical advances in medicine, a solution to the vision problem may not be so far away.
According to an article published in the scientific journal PNASa group of Scientists from Canada successfully “created” tissues that act as cone photoreceptors – a necessary mechanism for color perception and visual acuity. The researchers were able to transform the dormant support neurons – called Müller glia in cone photoreceptors. Promising tests have been done on mouse cells, but scientists are optimistic about the real potential for a treatment that could restore people’s vision.
What interests scientists
Müller’s glial cells They were chosen for their ability to reprogram in some animals. “It’s interesting that these cells are known to reactivate and regenerate the retina in fish,” said Camille Boudreau Pinsonault, a neuroscientist at the University of Montreal. “But in mammals, including humans, they don’t usually do that; not after injury or disease. And we still don’t understand.” Exactly why.”
Despite the challenges, Ajay David, a doctoral student at the University of Montreal, said: “We may one day be able to take advantage of cells normally present in the retina and stimulate them to regenerate retinal cells lost in diseased conditions. This will restore vision.”
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