Gene-therapy eyedrops to prevent myopia


They found a number of variations around the RASGRF1 gene, which is associated with eye growth, seemed to be strongly associated with myopia - either preventing it or protecting against it.

"It is not quite the end of glasses yet but clearly the hope is that we will be able to block the genetic pathways that causes shortsightedness," said Dr Christopher Hammond at King's College London, an eye surgeon who led the research. "It will probably take the form of a tablet or eye drops but it is going to be a challenge and at least 10 years before there is a treatment."

Every article about this seems to feel the need to talk about fashion, and "famous people who wear glasses". Die in a fire, "science" writers.

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7 Responses:

  1. ladyriv says:

    Preventing it...or protecting against it..

    so what about those of us that are ALREADY Myopic?

    • The therapy will work equally well for you, when they apply it to your replacement eyes grown from autotransplanted stem cells.

    • jered says:

      If you're already myopic there are convenient solutions like LASIK already available.

      • ladyriv says:

        Yeah... there's LASIK.. I'm looking into it, although the options that I've seen for it so far are prohibitively expensive (insurance will NOT cover it at all.) I've also seen that they wouldn't be able to get me back to 20/20... which means I'd still have to wear glasses/contacts.

        Maybe I'm looking at the wrong places..

        • jered says:

          Nobody will guarantee 20/20, but unless you're a really extreme case there's a 95%+ chance. I was -10 diopters in glasses (-7 in contacts) and -1.25 of astigmatism, and I'm now 20/20 in one eye and 20/15 in the other. YMMV.

          You're right that insurance doesn't cover it, although insurance also doesn't cover frames or contacts, neither of which you will have to buy after if all goes well.

          • ladyriv says:

            Yeah I'm still looking into it.. and have been considering it pretty seriously.

            :) Thanks for the input though! It gives me hope.

  2. lloydwood says:

    Rita Levi-Montalcini won a Nobel Prize for her work on nerve growth factor, which she now administers daily in eyedrops to keep her mind sharp and fend off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. And she's over 100.

    -- Life of the mind.