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Successful optic nerve regeneration offers hope

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital were able to successfully regenerate optic nerve fibers in mice and restore some of the basic vision in the mice. In the study, the mice had severe optic nerve damage and they were able to regain some depth perception, the ability to perceive light and the ability to detect overall movement of the visual field. These study findings offer hope that it might be possible for patients blinded by optic nerve damage as a result of either trauma or glaucoma might be able to regain some visual function. This is the first study where the optic fibers were able to grow long enough to go from the eye to the brain. Researchers would need to adapt the molecular manipulations that were performed in the mice in order to create a viable treatment for patients and they anticipate investigating a possible gene-therapy approach in the future.*

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