Discovering a Therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa

Aleks PolosukhinaRetinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age related macular degeneration (AMD) are the leading causes of blindness in the world.  They begin with the loss of cones and then rods, leaving the rest of the retinal circuitry intact but unable to respond to light.  Using a synthetic small photoswitch molecule AAQ,  Aleks Polosukhina along with other researchers in the lab of Richard Kramer were able to restore light sensitivity to the retina and in-vivo behavioral responses in mouse models of RP without gene therapy.  A brief application of AAQ rendered the retina light sensitive for an extended period of time.  Intraocular injection of AAQ restored the pupillary light reflex and locomotory light avoidance behavior.  AAQ and related molecules present a promising drug strategy for vision restoration in degenerative blinding diseases. Find more details about this breakthrough research in


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