Cure for Blindness ANI The Hindustan Times Thursday, October 9, 2003 Washington, October 9 - By identifying two important gene mutations responsible for the most common inherited cause of blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) feel they have come a step closer to treating it. They are the first to link two new gene mutations in two French-Canadian families to loss of vision in humans. Their findings are published in this month's issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Approximately 1.5 million people worldwide are affected by retinitis pigmentosa, which at the moment has no cure. This disease causes vision loss by progressive degeneration and death of the cells that make up the retina, the portion of the eye that responds to light. "Retinitis pigmentosa is a devastating and complex disease," says principal investigator, Dr. Robert Koenekoop, director of pediatric ophthalmology at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC. "Many genes, gene mutations and symptoms are involved. The first steps to developing a treatment are the characterization of all these factors. Important progress has been made by identifying two important gene mutations present in the French-Canadian population." Koenekoop in collaboration with MUHC geneticist, Dr. Guy Rouleau, examined two very large French- Canadian families afflicted with retinitis pigmentosa for four generations. Ophthalmic evaluations and genetic analysis were used to characterize the gene mutations and the resulting phenotype. They demonstrated that these mutations resulted in variable, severe forms of the disease and in some cases other neurological disorders, such as hearing loss. "Our findings show that different gene mutations result in different symptoms of the disease," says Rouleau. "Our study will provide hope to those families who have suffered from this disease for generations and will lead to new screening and diagnostic tests." http://hindustantimes.com/news/181_409740,00500004.htm Read the complete news at: http://www.hindustantimes.com News Plus http://www.mantra.com/newsplus Jai Maharaj http://www.mantra.com/jai Om Shanti Panchaang for 14 Ashvin 5104, Thursday, October 9, 2003: Shubhanu Nama Samvatsare Dakshinaya Jeevan Ritau Kanya Mase Shukl Pakshe Guru Vasara Yuktayam Uttaraprostapad- Revati Nakshatr Dhruv-Vyaghat Yog Vishti-Bav Karan Poornima Yam Tithau Hindu Holocaust Museum http://www.mantra.com/holocaust Hindu life, principles, spirituality and philosophy http://www.hindu.org http://www.hindunet.org The truth about Islam and Muslims http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate o Not for commercial use. Solely to be fairly used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion. The contents of this post may not have been authored by, and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the poster. The contents are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works. o If you send private e-mail to me, it will likely not be read, considered or answered if it does not contain your full legal name, current e-mail and postal addresses, and live-voice telephone number. o Posted for information and discussion. Views expressed by others are not necessarily those of the poster.