Scientists restore eyesight in blind mice using injection

There have been a number of blindness cures over the years, and the newest is particularly exciting. Researchers at UC Berkley have discovered they could restore the eyesight of blind mice by injecting a specific chemical directly in their eyes.

The chemical is called AAQ, which stands for acrylamide-azobenzene-quaternary ammonium and acts as a photoswitch, binding the protein ion channels on the retinal cell surface. When exposed to light, the chemical changes the flow of ions in the eye which activates neurons and allows the mice to see again.

That's a bit complicated, but what it means in layman's terms is that the mice were able to see temporarily with a small amount of AAQ in their eyes. It only lasts a few hours, but scientists are working on better versions to allow it to extend for a few days.

The biggest advantage to this type of treatment is it doesn't change the retina permanently the way gene therapy and stem cell therapy does.

There is still no word on when human testing will begin.

Via PCWorld

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