Could These Eyedrops Offer A Cure For Blindness?The case of one 14-year-old patient offered some promising results. Shutterstock
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If you’ve been following the latest developments in medical technology, you’ve probably heard the term “gene therapy” mentioned. One recent achievement in this realm provides some impressive possibilities for individuals living with vision impairment.
For most of his 14 years, Antonio Vento Carvajal has been legally blind, plagued by scars that covered both of his eyes that were caused by a genetic condition known as dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.
The malady didn’t just impact his eyes, but caused blisters all over his body. When a gene therapy trial appeared to clear up these issues elsewhere, Dr. Alfonso Sabater got the idea that the same treatment might be able to reverse his blindness.
After months of eyedrops containing the specialized gene therapy, Antonio’s eyes are clear and he can see.
Hope for many others
While it might not be a panacea for all types of blindness, experts now believe that this type of therapy could be useful in the treatment of conditions like Antonio’s as well as other commonly diagnosed eye diseases.
University of Pennsylvania dermatology professor Dr. Aimee Payne reviewed the “exciting” results and applauded those involved in Antonio’s treatment for delivering “gene therapy that really addresses the root cause of disease.”
That’s one happy mom
While Antonio’s success might help bring about the reversal of many other maladies, his mother has plenty to celebrate already.
She was brought to tears when she reacted to Dr. Sabater’s work throughout the process.
“She’s been there through everything,” said Yunielkys Carvajal. “He’s not only a good doctor but such a good human being and provided us with hope. He never gave up.”
The doctor recalled being encouraged by his young patient, who expressed confidence in his capabilities.
“That gave me the energy to continue,” Sabater said.