Oxford pioneers vision treatment

first_imgA pioneering trial led by Oxford University has delivered a potential new treatment for a type of blindness which was previously thought to be incurable. The trial was to cure the genetic disease choroideremia, which affects up to 1,500 people in Britain and 100,000 people worldwide. If the trial is successful, it may have significant consequences for neuroscience and for many other eye diseases as the virus employed could be used in future to create cures for genetic brain disorders. Choroideremia is commonly detected in childhood, and leads to blindness, usually by the late forties. It is caused by a faulty gene REP1, which triggers the death of light-sensing cells in the retina called photoreceptors. The disease only affects males. Jonathan Wyatt, a former barrister from Bristol, is the only patient to have undergone the trial so far. He will not recover his sight, but the procedure should stop his vision deteriorating any further- he would otherwise become totally blind in a few years. If the surgery is effective, the doctors aim to perform the same treatment on his right eye. They also plan to do surgery on twelve other patients.The treatment was developed by Professor Robert MacLaren at Oxford University, and Professor Miguel Seabra of Imperial College.Professor Seabra remarked that “the ability to offer a gene replacement treatment for these patients was the final objective of 20 years of intense research in my laboratory. This is a moment of fulfilment for us and a dream come true for all choroideremia patients.’”Professor MacLaren, who also undertook the surgery, admitted that the outcome was “unpredictable” considering the possibility of removing all the remaining sight in Mr Wyatt’s eye. Mr Wyatt commented, “I assessed the risks and decided they were worth taking, both for me and for all the other people who have the problem.”Professor MacLaren informed Cherwell “To say I’m very excited would be an understatement. I am also relieved. Relieved because we delivered the treatment without causing any harm, and relieved because we have proved that viral vectors can work.” MacLaren also told us of the pleasure of being able to convert his lab results into a working treatment.The blindness charity Fight for Sight responded to news of trial that they were “absolutely delighted with the news that a clinical trial for choroideremia is underway.”One medic, Imogen Welding, a first year at Corpus commended the research saying, “I think it’s really exciting that this kind of advance in technology can help people who otherwise can’t be treated.”However, Jen Todd, a first year Balliol medic, had some tempering advice commenting, “It is really important, but we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. Restoring someone’s sight will be much harder than just stopping the vision deteriorating.” Âlast_img read more


first_imgWe hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?IS IT TRUE that it was announced yesterday that Palm Springs, California will be the location of a new 10,000 seat hockey arena and has been selected to have an American Hockey League affiliate of the Seattle National Hockey League franchise?…the new facility will have two ice sheets and will cost $250 million?…this all sounds familiar to the Ford Center in Evansville but there is one very important difference?…the Palm Springs arena (not yet named) will not be using any taxpayer dollars?…the arena is a partnership between the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and a private investment group?…the arena will sit on tribal land inside a sovereign nation?…the taxpayers of Palm Springs and California will not be paying for or covering the debt on the facility in any way?…this is how stadiums and arenas should be financed as vital services like fire and police are not made to suffer to cover the payments on a temple to sports?…it would have been so great if Evansville could have done something that did not eventually bleed the taxpayers of $10 million per year for 20 years to pay for a facility that is falling well short of the projections of a former mayor’s hand-picked consultants? IS IT TRUE there are many local candidates with experience in making Evansville a travel destination, including some who currently work for CVB, who are interested in the job?  …that hiring someone local with experience and credentials wouldn’t require a paid search firm and would not only save the taxpayers money but would show the taxpayers of this community that “Evansville Is For Everyone” when you hire locally?IS IT TRUE that we are extremely pleased with the way Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch conducts herself?  …her actions make us proud? IS IT TRUE that the revolving door of non-profit that is an alter-ego of local government has swung again down at the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau?…the latest CEO to pack it up and leave town was hired roughly a year ago to replace Bob Warren?…the CEO prior to Warren was caught up in a political wedge created by a former Mayor  and eventually cashed a large check for being dismissed without justifiable cause?…an interim CEO that is a long term employee has been put into place while a nationwide search is launched to fill this $125,000 per year job?…between CEOs and interim CEOs the Evansville CVB is searching for its 6th  leader in the last 9 years?…with the inability to have continuity comes the challenges associated with bringing meaningful conventions with economic impact to Evansville?  …perhaps the governance structure and dependence on local government are the sources of this problem? IS IT TRUE we are told that the CVB board will once again hire an out of town search firm to hire a new Executive Director?  …the vote to hire an out of town search firm happened a couple of days ago? IS IT TRUE the CCO is pleased to see that the Evansville Zoo has made some improvements and become worthy of visitation again?…it would be even better if the Mesker Amphitheater would have had an engineered comeback after dying of the same neglect?IS IT TRUE that shootings have become so prevalent in Evansville that even criminals are afraid to hang out in River City without a gun?…this was pointed out very acutely in the Courier and Press this week when it was reported that a career criminal who was being questioned by police about why he had a handgun in his car seat simply answered “It’s Evansville”?…this clearly meant that the criminal was in fear of being in Evansville and being without a weapon?…that is a sad commentary as the national trend in crime is down but only certain places like South Chicago and Baltimore are seeing crime stats increase?…in all fairness to these places, the crime is quite concentrated in certain parts of town?IS IT TRUE we give five (5) cheers to Vanderburgh County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave for being persistent in making the bureaucratic Area Plan zoning ordinances more consumer-friendly?IS IT TRUE that downtown Evansville got a piece of good news this week when it was announced that the former Old National Bank building located at 420 Main is being sold to an investment group that is planning to do some long-needed maintenance, and some state of the art upgrades?…the 420 building is slated to have both commercial and residential use in its new embodiment?…it would be spectacular to see a new Petroleum Club open on the top two floors and it is highly likely that there is plenty of equipment and a beautiful old bar up there waiting for it to happen?IS IT TRUE yesterday Mayor Winnecke was on his favorite TV station touting his blight elimination program?  …the rehab project shown on a local TV station was completed over several years ago?  …there is nothing like yesterday’s news?IS IT TRUE when one is invited to a free lunch what do they order to drink?  …he orders two (2) pricey double cappuccinos on the house? … it’s now been alleged that this person has done this several times before? …we bet when he pays for his own lunch he orders water?  …if you provide us with the name of the cappuccino snub we will buy you a cup of any pricey beverage at Starbucks?IS IT TRUE we are extremely pleased with the way the employees of the Vanderburgh County Treasurer office serve the taxpayers of this community?IS IT TRUE that our “Readers Poll” is non-scientific but trendy?Today’s “Readers Poll” question is: Are you disappointed that the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau Board Of Directors has decided to hire an out of town search firm to search for a new Executive Director?W e are pleased to provide obituaries from area funeral homes at no costs.  We are also pleased to announce that we are now providing news from all the area High Schools. Please scroll down the paper and you shall see a listing of them.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]:  Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site.Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisersFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more