There is no cure for the degenerative eye disease, Stargardt's dystrophy. Now, new gene therapies are offering a flicker of hope, and South Africa is involved in the research.
Approximately 3 000 South Africans suffer from the as yet incurable genetic eye condition known as Stargardt's dystrophy. And, with DNA screening underway with the eye on a possible gene therapy trial, a faint flicker of hope is emerging.
Stargardt's is a recessively inherited condition. This means that rather than replacing genes, the aim would be simply to introduce a new gene.
Stargardt's has been successfully treated in mice
Stargardt Dystrophy is diagnosed in very young people where gene therapy would be most effective.
The Microarray chip allows for rapid screening to find suitable patients for clinical trials.