Navigation Links
For the Color Blind, a Ray of Hope
Date:9/16/2009

Researchers use gene therapy to restore color perception in monkeys

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- For color-blind people, new research in monkeys raises the possibility of a world in which they see colors like just about everyone else.

Scientists say they've used a form of gene therapy to eliminate red-green color blindness in monkeys, with no ill effects.

The treatment isn't for the squeamish, and there's no guarantee that it will work in humans. But study co-author Jay Neitz is optimistic.

"The great challenge of finding a way to cure color blindness is solved," said Neitz, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Washington. "Now, the great problem is transforming this technology so it can be used on humans and be perfectly safe."

An estimated one in 12 men and one in 230 women have some form of inherited color blindness. They have trouble differentiating between some colors because receptors in their eyes lack the ability to perceive the full difference between them. Two percent of men have the most severe form of color blindness.

Color blindness can be inconvenient, leading people to pick clashing colors in clothes or be unable to read graphs and charts. In more severe cases, it can be dangerous. For example, people with red-green color blindness may see the two colors as gray and have trouble distinguishing red from green in traffic lights.

"Those people have a very different color experience than the rest of us," Neitz said. "The biggest challenge is jobs. That's where there's a real headache. You can't be a police officer, fireman, bus driver or pilot if you have red-green color blindness."

Nor, he said, can they be ophthalmologists. In fact, he said, medical students are occasionally disappointed to find that they can't be eye doctors.

There is no treatment for color blindness, although people can wear special glasses or contact lenses to better distinguish between colors.

In the new study, Neitz and colleagues inserted a missing gene into the eyes of red-green color-blind monkeys through an injection. The gene piggybacked on a virus that had been defanged so it no longer caused illness.

The findings appear in the Sept. 16 online edition of Nature.

The researchers then tested the monkeys by measuring their responses to colors. About 20 weeks after the treatment, the monkeys, which are still alive and doing well, were no longer color blind and could distinguish between red and green.

Researchers still need to make sure the procedure is safe for humans, Neitz said. Even if it's 99 percent safe, that's not enough because the eyes are involved, he noted.

Still, "we are confident that something is going to happen," he added.

Anand Swaroop, a senior investigator at the National Eye Institute, is color blind himself and uncertain about whether he'd undergo a treatment to fix the condition, especially considering that he's done fine so far.

"Sometimes if you don't know a color, you just don't know a color. Big deal," said Swaroop, who has trouble distinguishing between light green and light yellow.

"Will I let someone inject something into my eye with some viruses when I can otherwise see normally and I have absolutely no other problem? I'm not sure," he said.

More information

The National Library of Medicine has more on color blindness.



SOURCES: Jay Neitz, Ph.D., professor, ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle; Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., senior investigator, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Sept. 16, 2009, Nature, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Video: Color of Hope: Because All Women Are Worth It
2. Too Few Latinos Get Colorectal Cancer Tests
3. Bayers BREEZE(R)2 Meter Available in Two New Vibrant Colors for a Limited Time
4. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist Provides Powerful Video Testimony for ColorAlchemy and Color Therapy
5. ColorAlchemy is Featured on HeartandHome Radio Show and Shares the Secret Color for Instant Calm and Clarity
6. ColorAlchemy Hosts YouTube Mini-workshop Video About How Light and the Color Green Instantly Helps Balance Mind, Body, and Spirit
7. ColorAlchemy Presentation at 5th Largest Unity Church Reveals How Yellow Commands Greater Personal Power
8. Ageless, Time-tested for Enhanced Body Image Using the Color Orange Revealed at Upcoming Women Taking Care of the World Conference in St. Petersburg, FL
9. Business Association in Denver Invites Award-winning Author of ColorAlchemy to Provide Motivation to Energize Performance and Stimulate Success Using the Color Red
10. Fecal DNA methylation detects gastric and colorectal cancers
11. New treatments offer better survival and fresh challenges in colorectal cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
For the Color Blind, a Ray of Hope
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... “Wounded Woman Be Ye Healed-Passing On A Legacy”: a call to heal ... creation of published author, Desiree M Webb, a registered nurse, minister of music, speaker, ... married to her husband, Paul, for over twenty-nine years. Desiree enjoys writing, beach ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Ogden ... innovative patient - centric payment system, to expand its focus on patient care ... patient financial experience. , “At Ogden Clinic, we are working to become ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... “The Trainer”: an ... published author, Scotty, a fiction writer with an active imagination and an enthusiasm for ... book follows the tale of Wild Bill Hart, who sat looking at the thirty-three ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... today announced the publication of “Profiling protein expression in circulating tumor cells using ... publication describes the use of the Vortex technology to capture CTCs ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Cosmetic Town, ... first issue of its companion print magazine. The new magazine, scheduled for release ... to information provided by board-certified doctors from across the country. , According to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 Global Colposcope ... focuses on the Colposcope in Global market, especially in ... Asia-Pacific , South America , ... This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, type and ... Browse 190 ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... presented in Brussels , My ... change bad sun habits into life-saving ones, was ... Association (AIM). Launched in 2016, the "Nudging for ... it easy and desirable for people to change ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... RADNOR, Pennsylvania , 22 de marzo de ... proveedor independiente global líder de soluciones de productos ... ha anunciado hoy que ha adquirido EPL Archives, ... apoya a los clientes en todo el ciclo ... y comercialización ofreciendo una muestra de archivo, almacenamiento ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: