skip to content
2007 Research Festival Artwork

Home > Concurent Symposium Sessions > Forestalling Blindness: Two Decades of Progress

Concurent Symposium Sessions
  Wednesday, September 26
Natcher Conference Center
Symposia Session III

Forestalling Blindness: Two Decades of Progress

2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Patricia Becerra, NEI, and Michael Redmond, NEI

Natcher Conference Center - Conference Room F1/F2

Vision is the sense that most of us would least like to lose, and blindness has a large economic impact from lost opportunities and lost income. Early onset blindness often leads to a life of dependency and diminished expectations. Furthermore, diseases and disabilities, including blindness, for which aging is a major risk factor are projected to markedly increase as the baby boomer generation ages. Faced with this, new therapies are needed to cure or delay vision loss. This session will highlight the exceptional progress made during the last 20 years in therapies for blindness. In 1987, only a few genes underlying diseases of the eye were known. Since then with the application of molecular biology and genetics, and the human genome project, our understanding has been revolutionized. Immunology, epidemiology and population based studies have also made huge contributions. There has been considerable progress identifying molecular signals regulating ocular neovascularization and retinal neurodegeneration. Even late onset and multigenic diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, are yielding their secrets. We have begun to learn the role played by the environment and diet in modifying genetic predisposition to these diseases. Furthermore, we have devised therapeutic strategies to target many of these diseases and allow the blind to see.


Breaking and Fixing the Cycle: RPE65 and Visual Retinoid Metabolism
Michael Redmond, NEI

Stemming Vision Loss with CNTF for Retinal Neurodegenerative Disease
Paul Sieving, NEI

The Versatile PEDF: More than an Inhibitor of Neovascularization
Juan Amaral, NEI

AMD: The Argument for Immune System Involvement
Bob Nussenblatt, NEI

Nutrition and Other Environmental Factors Associated with Age-related Macular Degeneration
Emily Chew, NEI

Back to the top