A breakthrough cure for blindness may have been reached after a study on mice showed that vision loss can be treated with a chemical injection to the eye. Experts hope that further experiments will lead to a treatment for humans.
The chemical, which temporarily restores partial vision in blind mice, was discovered by a research team at the University of California, Berkeley, in association with the University of Munich and Seattle’s University of Washington.
The substance, known as acrylamide-azobenzene-quaternary ammonium (AAQ), makes cells in the retina, the light-sensitive membrane in the back of the eye, more receptive.
The rodents used in the experiment had congenital mutations that made the light-sensitive cells (rods and cones) inside their eyes wither within months after birth. Injections of AAQ into their eyes briefly restored their ability to see light.