By Brianna Gaddy
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Foundation Fighting Blindness

The urgent mission of The Foundation Fighting Blindness, Inc. is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), macular degeneration, Usher Syndrome, and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.
One clinical trial that has been done is three young individuals who basically have no vision. The video below shows specifically one girl who suffered from blindness.
http://www.blindness.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1039:good-morning-america
Lebers congenital amaurosis(LCA) is a very RARE eye disease that people inherite. Getting this disease is 1 in 80,00 in the population and this eye disease shows up at birth, in the first few months of a babys life. Reasearch is being done about this disease. One example is of a dog named Lancelot, he has LCA he recieved an injection of a normal gene for the protein RPE65. The normal protein is essential for using light by the retina. This new discovery is hoped to be used on humans to cure retinal disease. Like Tucker Dupree's disease.

Here is the story about the dog Lancelot :
"A brave dog named Lancelot was the bearer of good news about a previously incurable, degenerative disease of the retina—Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA), which causes blindness in infants soon after birth. Lancelot was the first of several subjects in a study demonstrating that LCA could prove amenable to gene therapy, according to recent research presented at SfN.
Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute, described recent work by a large group of researchers, including Gustavo Aguirre, of the University of Pennsylvania and William Hauswirth of the University of Florida, on an animal model of LCA. Dogs blinded by naturally occurring LCA received an injection of the normal gene for the protein RPE65, which is essential to the processing of light by the retina. This gene is mutated in individuals with LCA.With their mutant RPE65 replaced by the normal form of the gene, the dogs gained the ability to see—an effect that has now lasted several years. “I expect clinical trials of RPE65 to begin by spring 2007,” Sieving said."

This story was found on http://www.dana.org/news/brainwork/detail.aspx?id=6246 .


Also other research that is being done with the Foundation Fighting Blindness is:
Stem cell is being used to restore vision to people who have lost it because of a retinal disease. Stem cell use is cotroversial but the stem cells are being used to grow new, healthy retinal tissue.

File:Human eye cross-sectional view grayscale.png
File:Human eye cross-sectional view grayscale.png

This is a picture of your retina. Your retina is in the back of your eye so thats the hard part about curing this disease.