Any child in a kindergarten can distinguish between colors like red, green and brown, it’s a child’s thing. However, for a person with this problem that is impossible. Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment to correct this genetic defect that is suffered mostly by men. Although it may be achieved very soon.
Researchers from the University of Washington and Florida, in the United States, have successfully tested a gene therapy that permanently corrects the defect. Using a safe virus, the researchers carried the correction genes and restored the ability to distinguish colors. This experiment was published in the journal Nature and has only been tested on squirrel monkeys, since, like color-blind people, they do not distinguish between red and green.
This experiment, in addition to being a solution for color-blind people, represents much more, since it has shown that it is possible to add new sensory capabilities to an adult brain and, above all, it opens a hopeful door to the treatment of serious visual defects. From age-related macular degeneration to vision loss from diabetes.
If we find the formula to make this treatment without risk in humans, as we have done in monkeys, we think that there will be many people willing to correct their vision problems with this strategy, “says Jay Neitz, lead author of the study.
Dalton and Sam, of the same race as “Mr. Nielsen”, Pipi Longstocking’s monkey, learned a color test, similar to the one used in nursery schools around the world for children to learn colors. The test was used before and after treatment. Only later did Dalton and Sam manage to distinguish between red and green. The injection of corrective genes made the retina of the monkeys manufacture a substance called opsin, involved in the manufacture of certain visual pigments with which red and green can be distinguished. The strategy worked five weeks after treatment, the researchers say.
This new research shows that the brain can reorganize itself even with new information. We hope this new research will be a great help to those who are affected by this disease.