Both dogs and humans suffer from blindness caused by Leber congenital amaurosis, or LCA. Researchers have recently discovered that the disease is has similar causes in both humans and dogs.
According to Dr. Gustavo D. Aguirre of Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, this information opens the door to developing therapies to halt or cure this form of blindness. The Penn team made an important discovery, although the dogs lack functional vision in daylight, the cone cells are still there even though they are very compromised.
The hope is that they can develop a therapy to stop the degenerative process and possibly reverse it. According to Dr. Aguirre they already have had success with preliminary gene therapy that indicates that this would be possible.
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