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Cure for blindness

Surgeons in Oxford have used a gene therapy method.

To improve the vision of six patients who otherwise would have gone blind.

The process involved inserting a gene into the eye, an action that re-energized light-detecting cells.

The doctors that were involved believe that the treatment could in time be used to treat common forms of blindness.


Prof Robert MacLaren, the surgeon who led the research, said he was "absolutely delighted at the outcome, we really couldn't have asked for a better result," he said to the BBC News.

When Mr Thompson one of the six patients was first diagnosed, he was told that he would not be able to see his daughter grow up, who is now nine.

"Now I hope I'll see my grandchildren grow up," he told BBC News.

If the improvements seen in the patients continue, the aim will be to offer the treatment to younger choroideremia patients to stop them from having blindness.

The condition is quite rare: it is thought to concern a thousand people in the UK.

For more information go to

Research by Renne and Kiana




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