The Foundation Fighting Blindness is committed to funding sight-saving research across Canada and to keeping Canadians living with vision loss informed about the latest developments in vision research. News items and resources about emerging research are listed here. You can also see past issues of our monthly Vision Research e-News here!
Our Research News items are reviewed by Dr. Bill Stell, Expert Scientific Advisor for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Dr. Stell is a Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy; Surgery; Ophthalmology; and Neurosciences at the University of Calgary.
Feb 21, 2014 - New Compound May be the Basis of a Promising Drug to Reverse Retinal Blindness
California researchers invent a new "photoswitch," which may give light-sensing capacity to retinal nerve cells potentially restoring vision to people with advanced retinal degenerative diseases.
Feb 5, 2014 - Testing the Safety of Induced Stem Cell Therapies
Cells derived from induced pluipotent stem cells will soon be used in a clinical trial for dry age-related macular degeneration and may be used for other conditions as well. How are scientists assessing the risks?
Jan 16, 2014 - First gene therapy results for choroideremia suggest cautious optimism
Of first six patients treated in the British gene therapy trial for choroideremia, the two most visually impaired experience the most strikingly positive results.
Jan 8, 2014 - Allergies may protect against age-related macular degeneration
In a new, and unexpected research finding people with a history of allergies may be less likely to have AMD.
Dec 10, 2013 - Argus II Retinal Prosthesis Named Invention of the Year
Popular Science has named this treatment for severe retinitis pigmentosa its "innovation of the year."
Nov 18, 2013 - Update: Creating an Orphan Drug Policy for Canada
New approach to drug approval process for the treatment of rare diseases will make treatment more available for inherited retinal diseases.
Nov 12, 2013 - New Wet AMD Drug, Eylea, Approved in Canada
Another option for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration will soon be available.
Oct 22, 2013 - International Society of Genetic Eye Diseases and Retinoblastoma (ISGEDR) conference report
Joanne Sutherland, Ocular Genetic Counsellor, Sick Children’s Hospital, Toronto, attended this international conference and authored a brief report outlining the highlights!
Oct 9, 2013 - Ocular Gene Therapy Centre Established at the University of Alberta
A multi-million dollar investment by the Alberta government will create a unique centre for testing gene therapies for inherited eye disease. Learnn more about this new centre and how Foundation Fighting Blindness donors helped make it possible.
Sept 16, 2013 - Drug for Dry AMD Looks Promising in Early Trials
New drug may have benefits for some groups of people with age-related macular degeneration.
Sept 12, 2013 - New Partnership aims to Identify Drugs Useful to Delay Retinitis Pigmentosa
The Foundation Fighting Blindness partners with the the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to fund studies of a potential drug treatment for retinitis pigmentosa being conducted by Dr. Uri Saragovi at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.
August 26, 2013 - Transplant Retinal Cells Gathered from a Person’s Own Body to Begin Testing in Japan
This clinical trial will test a new approach to stem cell therapy for people with age-related macular degeneration.
July 7, 2013 - Does Health Food Store Product have Beneficial Effects in Retinitis Pigmentosa?
A recent research paper suggests that a type of green microalgae may have benefits for some people with retinitis pigmentosa. We asked two Canadian scientists to review and comment on these findings.
July 4, 2013 - Foundation Fighting Blindness Appoints New Scientific Leader
Montreal scientist Dr. Michel Cayouette will chair our Scientific Advisory Board
June 11, 2013 - Canadian Scientists Show “Proof of Principle” for LCA 12 Gene Therapy
A team funded in part by the Foundation Fighting Blindness demonstrates a potential therapy for one type of Leber congenital amaurosis
May 21, 2013 - Valproic Acid: The Perils of Using Drugs Off-Label
Valproic acid may be a useful therapy for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, but people who take this drug off-label have not seen significant benefits.
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
May 9, 2013 - Usher Syndrome Findings Focus on Genetic Knowledge and Ongoing Clinical Trial - Scientists present a detailed genetic study of USH2A, and a brief update on the clinical trial of a gene therapy for Usher syndrome 1B.
May 8, 2013 - Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment may have Long-Term Positive Effect - More information about the Japanese drug, unoprostone isopropyl, released at ARVO
May 8, 2013 - Making Gene Therapy Useful for More Conditions - Research funded by your donations will make it possible to develop therapies for large genes like Stargardt disease and Usher syndrome Type 1B
May 7, 2013 - The Genetics of Choroideremia - Canadian scientists present detailed work on the natural history of choroideremia
May 6, 2013 - Vitamin Supplements and Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Results from the long-awaited AREDS-2 study on vitamins to slow the development of AMD are released
May 5, 2013 - XIAP Gene Therapy May Protect against Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Early studies suggest that Canadian therapy may be useful to delay dry age-related macular degeneration.
April 29, 2013 - Three Million Dollars in New Canadian Vision Research
Newly announced grants from Brain Canada will expand our knowledge of retinal eye disease and potential treatments.
April 23, 2013 - Gastric Reflux Drugs may cause Hallucinations in Some People with Wet AMD - Symptoms may appear similiar to Charles Bonnet syndrome a common complication of serious vision loss
April 19, 2013 - New Approach May Make Gene Therapy More Useful for Older People - Using a combination of therapies may make gene therapy useful for a longer period of time.
March 14, 2013 - Tetracycline: A potential treatment for retinal diseases? - Researchers are testing this common antibiotic starting in people with dry age-related macular degeneration
Feb 15, 2013 - Second Sight Retinal Prosthesis Approved for Sale in the USA - One type of "bionic eye" will now be available
Feb 12, 2013 - New Japanese Trial for Retinitis Pigmentosa Drug Beginning - Unoprostone isopropyl is an eyedrop first developed for glaucoma treatment, that may help treat both retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.
Feb 4, 2013 - Gene Therapy Improves Vision but does not Slow Vision Loss - New and unexpected findings from the RPE65 trial raise questions about gene therapy. The findings show that gene therapy improves vision but may not extend the life of vision cells.
Jan 29, 2013 - Exploring the Promise of Transplants to Restore Vision
Two new studies tell us more about the promise of retinal cell transplants.
Jan 25, 2013 - Link Between Aspirin and Wet AMD
Studies show that people who take aspirin regularly for more than 10 years are more likely to have wet age-related macular degeneration
Jan 7, 2013 - Early Trials of Gene Therapies Appear Safe
A brief update on gene therapies being developed by Oxford Biomedica
Donations to the Foundation Fighting Blindness support research teams across Canada. See our annual wrap-up of Ten 2012 Research Discoveries.You can help – support us today!