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    Latest News     Potential Treatment for Vision Loss

Potential Treatment for Vision Loss

The retina is a light-sensitive layer of the eye that is responsible for visual perception. There are several layers of neurons including the photoreceptor cells that are the rods and cones. Cones are responsible for color vision while rods provide black and white vision. Cone photoreceptors in the eye respond to different light wavelengths and enable vision. There are three sub types of human cones that are defined by the visual pigment expressed: blue-opsin, green-opsin and red-opsin. Mutations or dysfunction that affect opsin expression can cause retinal degeneration or color blindness. Furthermore, there are many diseases and disorders that can affect the retina that can lead to loss of vision with limited treatment available.

In a recent report, researchers grew human retina tissue to examine how people are able see in color. Most vision research is collected from mice and fish. However, humans have trichromatic (blue, red, green) color vision. Thyroid hormone was identified as being essential for determining whether cells become, blue, red or green. This is also supported by previous studies that indicate that pre-term babies with low thyroid hormone levels have a higher risk of vision disorders. This establishes the ability to grow organoids as a model to study human development. Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness with no known treatment to completely restore vision. This breakthrough could help develop therapies for eye diseases such as macular degeneration and color blindness. 
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