The blinds must no longer hope on miracle to regain their sights. Scientists have figured out a way to virtually regrow damaged eyes.
They now hope to perfect this technique in order to offer humanity treatment for vision impairment.
Reports have it that a study in mice funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows for the first time that high-contrast visual stimulation can help damaged retinal neurons regrow optic nerve fibers, otherwise known as retinal ganglion cell axons.
The study found that in combination with chemically induced neural stimulation, axons grew further than in strategies tried previously.
It also, uncovers that adult regenerated central nervous system (CNS) axons are capable of navigating to correct targets in the brain.
As learnt, mice treated partially regained visual function.
Celebrating the outcome of this study, National Eye Institute (NEI) Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. remarked that “reconnecting neurons in the visual system is one of the biggest challenges to developing regenerative therapies for blinding eye diseases like glaucoma.”
With that, he asserted that “this research shows that mammals have a greater capacity for central nervous system regeneration than previously known.”
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the researchers induced optic nerve damage in mice using forceps to crush the optic nerve of one eye just behind the eyeball.
The mice were then placed in a chamber several hours a day for three weeks where they viewed high-contrast images.
Subsequently, the mice had modest but significant axonal regrowth compared to control mice that did not receive the high-contrast visual stimulation.
Commenting, Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. associate professor from Stanford University School of Medicine said: “We saw the most remarkable growth when we closed the good eye, forcing the mice to look through the injured eye.”
Also, NEI program director for retinal neuroscience research Thomas Greenwell noted that the “study’s striking finding that activity promotes nerve regrowth holds great promise for therapies aimed at degenerative retinal diseases.”
As earlier stated, the study essentially, indicated that the blinds can hope to see again as life can hopefully, be restored to their damaged eyes someday.