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Archive for the Diseases Category

ARVO 2016: Choroideremia Gene Therapy in Clinical Trial Continues to Perform Well

Dr. Robert MacLaren during surgery. The annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Seattle won’t start for another three days, but already there’s exciting research news to report. Five of six patients in NightStaRx’s choroideremia gene-therapy trial at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, which began in 2013, continue to benefit from the treatment.
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Two New Videos Highlight FFB’s Vital Role in Retinal Research

Dr. Boye in her lab, conducting a tourAs everyone knows, there is never just one side to a story. That’s certainly true in the case of Dr. Shannon Boye, whose FFB-funded research is the subject of not just one but two new Foundation videos.
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For Rare Disease Day – The Many Benefits of Genetic Research

Rare Disease Day logoIt’s apropos that Rare Disease Day 2016 will be held on the rarest day on the calendar—Leap Day, February 29.

However, collectively, rare diseases are not uncommon. About 30 million Americans, nearly 10 percent of our population, are affected by one of 7,000 rare diseases. They’re an important public health issue, making it incumbent upon us to work hard to eradicate them.
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Treatments for Retinal Diseases are Leading to Therapies for the Brain

An image of the brainThe retina—the thin, fragile layer of tissue lining the back of the eye—gives us the invaluable gift of vision. It works like film or digital sensors in a camera by converting the light that enters our eye into electrical signals. Those signals are sent over the optic nerve to the back of the brain, where they are used to create the images we see.
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A Testament to the Human Spirit

Tyler MillardIn 2012, when Tyler Millard wrote the song “Alive”—now available on iTunes, with proceeds going to the Foundation Fighting Blindness—he was having a rough time. Since being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) seven years earlier, he’d lost enough eyesight to have to give up his plans to teach math. He’d also taken up the guitar and was singing and songwriting, although the gigs were few and far between.
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Retinal Researchers May Be Looking for You

A patient registers with My Retina Tracker.One of the biggest challenges in overcoming rare retinal diseases is, well, that they’re rare. There’s limited information about the conditions in humans, making it difficult for researchers to understand why they cause blindness and develop vision-saving treatments.
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2015 Top 10 Retinal-Research Advances

Researcher in a labThe Foundation Fighting Blindness’ scientists, donors and volunteers made 2015 an outstanding year in our fight against blindness. As I tabulated the year’s top 10 research advances—all made possible through FFB funding—I realized that eight are for clinical trials of emerging therapies that are launching or underway.
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The Gift of Sight – Matched!

Your donation doubledIt’s holiday time, the giving season, when people not only buy gifts for family, friends and co-workers, but also donate to worthy causes—of which there are many. But, if you’ll permit me, I’d like to make a pitch for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), which happens to be offering a Holiday Board Match, meaning every donation is doubled.
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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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