A genetic test for inherited blindness was launched at the UK Eye Genetics meeting in Bristol last week.
Developed with support from Fight for Sight and RP Fighting Blindness, the test is described as being able to analyse more than 100 genes in parallel. It aims to give patients a definitive diagnosis of their condition and allow some to preserve their sight for longer with directed medical management and new treatments.
Professor Graeme Black of the University of Manchester said the test had been developed with costs driven down to make it affordable to the NHS.
Fight for Sight chief executive Michele Acton said: 'As a result of this new test, hundreds of UK patients could receive a genetic diagnosis of their condition for the first time. Potential treatments for some inherited eye diseases are currently in development, and if these are to be successful, a precise diagnosis is crucial. For the many people who currently have very little information about their eye condition, this new test marks a major step forward.'
The service will allow experts to diagnose conditions such as isolated progressive retinal degeneration, Leber congenital amaurosis, and achromatopsia, as well as Usher and Bardet-Biedl syndromes.
Source: Optician Online