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Light-responsive ligands activate retinal neurons to repair vision loss in blind mice

July 07, 2017

Retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, and other retinal diseases lead to the deterioration of photoreceptors, the light-sensing cells in the eye.

Eventually, this deterioration progresses to vision loss. Although there are several therapies in development to reverse retinal disease-related blindness, each is associated with safety concerns related to long-term stability. In mouse models of retinal disease, light-sensitive molecules known as photoswitches have been shown to restore light responses to damaged retinas. The ability to control the duration and application frequency of photoswitches, which are applied as a pharmacological therapy, makes them an attractive alternative approach to treating vision loss.