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Cells from skin create model of blinding eye disease
Date:11/8/2012

biological pigment in photoreceptor cells, and had differences in calcium signaling and oxidative stress.

"These results give us some ideas where to look for therapies that would allow us to interfere with the disease process,'' says Gamm. "And the stem cell model gives us a chance to test those therapies before trying them on patients."

Even more important, on a human level, is how excited some of the family members were to participate in understanding and eventually treating a disease that has plagued generations of their families.

"These family members know they're not getting treated directly as a result of this study, but they're doing it out of concern for the next generation,'' Gamm said. "That brings peace to them, to know that they're not passive victims of this disease, but instead, active players in the discovery process."

The chief research officer of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which helped fund the Best disease project, says the method holds promise for a number of retinal conditions.

"We are delighted by the highly innovative research of Dr. Gamm and his lab in harnessing stem cells to better understand complex retinal diseases and move us closer to vision-saving treatments and cures,'' says Dr. Stephen Rose. "His techniques can be used to help characterize and overcome the entire spectrum of inherited retinal conditions."


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Contact: Susan Lampert Smith
ssmith5@uwhealth.org
608-262-7335
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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