Tag Archives: vision

A friend sent me this link today: Gene Therapy Makes Near-Blind Patients See by Strengthening Neural Connections

If you don't want to read the whole thing, I'll summarize the points I think are most important:

  1. "Gene therapy restored vision to blind patients by strengthening visual pathways from the retina, through the brain’s white matter, into the brain’s visual cortex...
  2. It doesn't matter how old you are, your brain can learn new things by making new pathways, by learning new things, etc.
  3. "The Ashtari study advances basic science knowledge on two fronts. “First, most of what we know about brain plasticity comes from animal studies. This research is extremely important, but clearly the human brain differs greatly from brains of experimental animals. "

I just saw an older gentleman today that has had seizure-like activity in his brain. He has episodes in which his vision plays tricks on him. When he arrived, his gait looked like a person with Parkinson's (shuffling with his feet not leaving the ground). He also could not express himself well and didn't have much facial expression. He could only repeat 2 consecutive numbers when asked to repeat 7. I am happy to report that on his way out, he was smiling and telling a joke. His pupils were responding more normally to light and he was able to walk more normally too. Isn't the body amazing?