Scientists herald "breakthrough" on blindness

Activating the Robo4 protein in mice helped them to develop working blood vessels and ward off the kind of common physical damage that leads to blindness. And the work may point to new therapies for both macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. In some cases physical damage was not only prevented but reversed, suggesting that this new approach may eventually cure blindness in some patients.

Professor Randall Olson, director of Utah's John A. Moran Eye Center, said: "We are excited about taking this opening and moving the frontier forward with real hope for patients who have but few, often disappointing options."

Dr Hemin Chin, from the U.S. National Eye Institute, said: "Given that vascular eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, are the number one cause of vision loss in the U.S., the identification of new signaling pathways that prevent abnormal vessel growth and leakage in the eye represents a major scientific advancement."

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- read the article from the BBC

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