Retinitis Pigmentosa, commonly referred to as RP, is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. There are over two hundred forms of RP. The National Institute of Health sponsors research involved in drug or gene therapies designed to reduce the “noise” which is often clutter or the pigmenting of good retinal cells. The “noise” seems to be generated by nerve cells in the retina reducing vision. The therapies work by repairing or limiting the “noise” generated by these nerve cells.
UC Berkeley neurobiologists have already shown that this approach improves vision in mice with RP that would slowly leave them Blind.
The work at Berkeley is funded by the National Eye Institute, and the Thome and Fighting Blindness.