Sight Research UK funds research into any eye condition affecting adults or children, helping to turn the brightest scientific ideas into new treatments for blinding disease. We’re proud to support Dr Hannah Dunbar at UCL, who is exploring a potential new therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in people under 60. It’s the name given to a group of inherited eye conditions that cause deterioration of the retina – the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye, which is crucial for sight. Most people with RP develop a level of sight loss that has a profound impact on their daily life. There is no single treatment for RP because it can be caused by mutations in up to 75 different genes.
As we age, our retinas perform less well. Research has shown that exposure to some wavelengths (colours) of light can improve vision in older people with healthy eyes. Dr Hannah Dunbar is leading a pilot study of people with RP to see if light therapy can improve their visual function. If the results show this to be the case, it could be the first step towards a simple, non-invasive treatment to slow the progression of a devastating blinding condition.