Gene therapy first to 'halt' most common cause of blindness

OrbitalDawn

Ulysses Everett McGill
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A woman from Oxford has become the first person in the world to have gene therapy to try to halt the most common form of blindness in the Western world.

Surgeons injected a synthetic gene into the back of Janet Osborne's eye in a bid to prevent more cells from dying.

It is the first treatment to target the underlying genetic cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

About 600,000 people in the UK are affected by AMD, most of whom are severely sight impaired.

Janet Osborne told BBC News: "I find it difficult to recognise faces with my left eye because my central vision is blurred - and if this treatment could stop that getting worse, it would be amazing."

The treatment was carried out under local anaesthetic last month at Oxford Eye Hospital by Robert MacLaren, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Oxford.
 
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