Blindness is one of the more debilitating type of handicap that millions of people across the world suffer from.
A major reason for this is the fact that once vision is lost, there isn’t any treatment that can restore it, leaving only surgery as a possible solutions.
But that too has it’s own complications, such as cost of surgery, availability of donor etc, which make it difficult for a lot of people to get access to it.
But now researchers seem to have found a way to fix this issue by regenerating severed optic nerve cables through non surgical treatments.
This treatment focuses on regrowing axons, which are extensions of ganglion cells that don’t have the power to regenerate naturally.
This is what actually makes blindness a permanent disability. By encouraging these cells to grow, the researchers hope to help people see again.
In order to test this theory, scientists used adult mice with the optic nerve crushed in one eye. These mice were then put through two regimens, which included exposure to a moving black and white grid for high-contrast stimulation as well as biochemical manipulations that stimulated the mTOR pathway within the ganglion cells.
It was found that with the combined use of these therapies, the axons were greatly encouraged to regenerate, which resulted in partial restoration of vision in mice.
While this is in no way comparable to full vision, it still is a great approach to work on, so that one day blind people would be able to see again without expensive surgery.