Scientists have found a clue in the cause of macular degeneration that may help pave the way towards a cure for blindness.
A clue to one of the main causes of blindness has been uncovered by an international team of researchers.
Now the team behind the project believe such a clue may lead to an eventual cure.
Age-related macular degeneration affects millions of people worldwide. Just in the UK alone over 500,000 people are affected and currently there is no cure.
The research team discovered that the enzyme DICER 1 stops functioning. Due to this non-function results in the illness.
Now scientists are hailing this latest discovery a breakthrough in finding a potential cure to blindness caused by macular degeneration.
The macular is found in the centre of the retina in our eyes. The macular is responsible for the fine details we see at the centre of our field of vision. As the macular degenerates – usually through age – our ability to focus on reading, writing, driving and even recognising people suffers.
The current statistic shows that macular degeneration affects one in 50 people over the age of fifty and one in five people over the age of 85.
So far scientists do not know the exact cause of why this happens. However, certain risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and genetic inheritance are thought to contribute towards obtaining the disease.