Gene Therapy Progress?

When will the red-green color blindness cure be ready for humans?

While gene therapy has successfully allowed red-green color-blind monkeys to see new colors that they have never seen before, we still don’t know what their internal perceptions of those colors are like, or if any psychological side-effects might result from humans suddenly being able to see a new dimension of color. [Note: There have been no indications of psychological distress in the monkeys.] Gene therapy also involves risks associated with the viral vector and therapeutic transgene being injected, and with the surgical procedure itself (subretinal injection). Therefore, the first step in moving the treatment forward will be determining its safety for use in human patients.

We used a computerized test for human color blindness that was similar to the well-known testing books in which colored numbers or symbols are concealed in a pattern of dots. Prior to treatment, the monkeys were trained to touch the location of a colored patch hidden among the gray dots. Correct choices were rewarded with a small amount of white grape juice and a positive dinging sound. Following incorrect choices, no juice was delivered and a negative buzzer tone sounded.

Press Release When will the red-green color blindness cure be ready for humans? “Cracking the Colour Code” Video of a cured squirrel monkey, Dalton, performing the color vision test. How was gene therapy for red-green color blindness able to work in adult monkeys? Here is one of our squirrel monkeys, Dalton, who was treated for red-green color blindness enjoying a feast of colored fruits and vegetables. The image on the left was digitally altered […]

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