When it comes to retinal degeneration diseases that are based on gene mutations, scientists have a very hard time trying to deal with them and find out some way to either cure or slow down the process since these conditions could be triggered by up to 4,000 different gene mutations. Pinpointing the exact culprit is like finding a needle in a haystack. However, a group of scientists from Duke University are working on an approach which could help ensure that the cell death in retinas is stopped in the case of neurodegenerative diseases.
Their work and their tests
These scientists have shown that when a genetic mutation occurs that triggers these conditions cells have a hard time absorbing proteins so in the end, the cells dies from the inside out because the eye cells are not able to process these proteins.
What these scientists focused on was looking at each piece of machinery that they could find inside the cells which would be responsible for the eliminating these misfolded proteins. They found out that these proteins have to first pass through a lid. When they tested their theory on mice they found out that their retina cells did not have enough shredder lids so they could only start to pile up.
TO fix this problem the team of researchers decides to increase the number of lids and they saw almost immediate results. Their test showed that out of the mice that were given extra lids all of them retained four times more the amount of retinal cells than mice which were not given this treatment.
It is still a long way until this theory could be applied to humans but this moment marks the starting point for a number of other advances in the field of science in the future.