A new report outlines progress toward the National Eye Institute's Audacious Goals Initiative (AGI), an effort to restore vision through research in regenerative medicine. The report, published in Nature Medicine, was authored by the NIH institute's senior leadership and the AGI steering committee.
The leading causes of irreversible vision loss in the U.S. stem from the death of the retina's light sensing photoreceptors and the retinal ganglion cells, which connect the retina to the brain. Age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma all cause retinal degeneration.
The report highlights various approaches to vision restoration, including cell replacement, activation of innate repair pathways, retinal prosthetics, and gene therapy. Advances in retinal imaging funded by AGI are enabling development of these approaches.
"Progress in the first decade since identifying this audacious goal has been substantial, and it is likely that multiple vision restoration technologies will reach clinical use in the next decade," said the authors. The report also outlines remaining challenges, such as the reconnection of regenerated visual circuitry.
Van Gelder, R.N., Chiang, M.F., Dyer, M.A. et al. Regenerative and restorative medicine for eye disease. Nat Med 28, 1149–1156 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-01862-8