Statement from Lighthouse International About the Study on Gene Therapy Concerning Leber's Congenital Amaurosis

NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Lighthouse International is a leader in vision healthcare -- serving people who are visually impaired and partially sighted for 103 years.

According to Dr. Tara A Cortes, President and CEO of Lighthouse International:

"This is a dramatic breakthrough in gene therapy that could potentially impact other genetic eye diseases that affect children."

According to Yocasta Urena, 28, an employee of Lighthouse International who has Leber's Congenital Amaurosis and whose 4-year-old daughter has the same condition, "This research is a ray of hope for me and certainly for my daughter's future." Her daughter, Aolani Cruz, has been in the Lighthouse International Child Development Center (which educates children who are visually impaired and sighted) for a year and a half and has made significant progress.

Dr. Cortes continued, "In the decades to come, this therapy may also have implications for other serious eye diseases such as Age Related Macular Degeneration, which has been found to have a genetic link and affects some 9 million Americans and millions abroad.

There is a vision loss epidemic in the United States which affects millions. Research and vision rehabilitation & services will also be needed to address this growing national health problem."

Founded in 1905, Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to preserving vision and providing critically needed health care services to help people of all ages overcome the challenges of vision loss. Through services, education, research and advocacy, the Lighthouse enables people with low vision and blindness to enjoy safe, independent and productive lives. For more information about vision loss, its causes and what you can do about it, contact Lighthouse International at 1-800-829-0500 or visit www.lighthouse.org.

SOURCE Lighthouse International

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