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Archive for the Diseases Category

Past Sun Exposure Increases AMD Risk

FFB staff members taking preventive measuresIf you’re a young or middle-aged adult who enjoys being outside in the bright sunshine, you’re probably not thinking about the risk for going blind from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But according to a new study published in the journal Retina, you should be.
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A Leap Forward: Spark Therapeutics Seeks FDA Approval for its Vision-Restoring Gene Therapy

Gene therapy recipient Yannick DuweWe’re approaching a critical milestone in the fight against blinding retinal diseases, and it has the potential to tremendously boost and accelerate the advancement of virtually all gene therapies in development for dozens of inherited retinal diseases.

Sometime in 2016, Spark Therapeutics will request marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its landmark gene therapy for retinal conditions caused by mutations in the gene RPE65, namely certain forms of Leber congenital amaurosis and retinitis pigmentosa.
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The Challenge Continues: FFB Chairman Gordon Gund is Interviewed on CNBC

Gordon Gund on CNBC in NantucketGordon Gund, who’s held in extremely high esteem by people inside and outside the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), has been completely blind for decades. He lost his eyesight to a disease called retinitis pigmentosa in his thirties. Not that it slowed him down much. Among other accomplishments, he’s been a financier, venture capitalist, sports-team owner and sculptor. And, of course, he’s a co-founder of FFB and its chairman of the board.
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Donated Eyes Help Researchers Better Understand Retinal Diseases

a retina affected by RPMany people with retinal conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration don’t think they can donate their eyes after they’ve passed away. They can’t imagine anyone would want eyes that didn’t work well. But in reality, affected eyes are in big demand.
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A Surprising Number of Carrier Females are Affected by X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa

Calico catX-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) is an inherited retinal disease causing significant vision loss, sometimes complete blindness, in males. Females are often considered to be unaffected carriers of the condition, with a 50 percent chance of passing XLRP to their sons.
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First AMD Patient Receives Argus II Bionic Retina

Ray Flynn wearing the Argus IIThere’s nothing more exciting than news about vision restoration for someone blind from a retinal disease. But a report coming from across the pond is especially compelling, because it’s about the first person with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to receive the Argus II bionic retina.
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One Thing That Scares You

Nicole Kear“Do one thing every day that scares you,” my 10-year-old son told me a few months ago. “That’s what Eleanor Roosevelt said.”

He recently studied the Roosevelts, and, it turns out, the Roosevelts had a lot to say about fear, most famously Franklin in his inaugural address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
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Gene Therapy Strengthens the Retina’s Connection to the Brain

diagram of brain affected by LCA therapyWhile we often think of the retina as that magical piece of tissue lining the back of the eye that makes vision possible, the brain is also an essential partner in the visual process. When light comes into the eye and is converted to electrical signals, those signals are sent through the optic nerve to the back of the brain, where they are transformed into the images we see. When children are born, pathways between the retina and the brain are in place, and, with increased interaction with the world, they become stronger over time.
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Walking a Mile (or More) in Their Shoes

The Healey parentsThere’s an old saying that, depending on who’s doing the quoting, goes something like this: “You can’t really know a person until you walk a mile in his or her shoes.” That’s certainly true when it comes to grasping what it means to lose one’s eyesight to a retinal disease.
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VISIONS 2015, Faces of VISIONS – Carol Brill

Carol Brill“If one person’s giving me a hard time, I’m not going to let him ruin my day,” says Carol Brill. “I always remember there are seven billion other people in the world who can make me happy.”
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