UMass Researcher Finds Genetic Key to Blindness Caused by MS

UMass Researcher Finds Genetic Key to Blindness Caused by MS

Gene therapy may be able to protect eyesight in sufferers from multiple sclerosis.

New research shows how gene therapy may be used to preserve neural circuits and protect against vision loss in multiple sclerosis (MS), the University of Massachusetts Medical School reports.

A  paper by Dorothy P. Schafer, PhD, reveals the molecular process in which synaptic connections in the brain are damaged in MS and how this contributes to neurodegenerative symptoms.

The research, published in Immunity, also suggests how therapies that may protect against the damaging effects of MS and could apply to other neurodegenerative disorders, according to Dr. Schafer and Sebastian Werneburg, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Schafer lab.

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease of the central nervous system affecting more than 2 million people worldwide.

Vision loss is one of the most common symptoms of MS and is often one of the first that patients notice.

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