19 February 2019

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

Our Clinical Adviser comments on the story in the BBC about the woman who had gene therapy to try to halt the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

“This week’s new story about the woman who had gene therapy to try to halt the progression of AMD is very exciting. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the UK; a treatment which could preserve vision in patients who would otherwise lose their sight will be truly life-changing.

“It is important to note that this trial is ongoing and has involved a small number of patients (10). As with any clinical trial, we look forward to hearing the full outcome. 

“You can read more about the symptoms of AMD on Look After Your Eyes where we have a video which shows what vision can be like when living with AMD. If you have noticed any of these symptoms, you should visit your optometrist without delay. You can find your local optometrist on the homepage of Look After Your Eyes.”
Dr Susan Blakeney, Clinical Adviser, College of Optometrists 

Related further reading

Mike Horler FCOptom presents current treatment strategies for late wet AMD, diabetic oedema and branch vein occlusion.


As age-related macular degeneration progresses, part of the visual cortex starts to atrophy. But which way does the causal relationship work, asks Kim Thomas, and what does it mean for treatments focused on the retina if the brain has entered an irreversible decline?

Brush up your knowledge on one of the most remarkable parts of the eye. Kimi Chaddah explores the cornea’s anatomy, its capacity for healing, and promising research avenues in corneal innervation.