Blindness in Dogs and Children

April 28, 2014 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

Dr. Gustavo Aguirre not only discovered a cure for some blindness in dogs, he found the path to cure blindness in some children.  Through genetic research, Dr. Aguirre was able to isolate the mutated gene that causes stationary night blindness in the Briard breed.  He then engineered a virus to carry the non-mutated version of that gene and injected the virus in the eyes of dogs with the condition.  The virus caused the mutated genes to be replaced with the correct genes and the dogs were cured of the blindness in three months.  Work on genetic therapy to cure blindness in dogs has been going on at Penn Vet.

It turns out that the same gene mutation in humans causes a form of general blindness called Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis or LCA.  After Dr. Aguirre’s discovery, the treatment went into testing at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  It has been successful in curing blindness in children.

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Blindness in Dogs

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