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Pain medicine helps preserve vision in model of inherited retinal degeneration

June 27, 2016

A pain medicine that potently activates a receptor vital to a healthy retina appears to help preserve vision in an animal model of severe retinal degeneration, NEI-funded scientists at Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University report.

Potentially blinding diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration result in the loss of photoreceptor cells in the retina that enable us to convert light into images.

The study, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that in an animal model of severe, inherited retinal degeneration, the drug (+)-pentazocine enables the survival of cone cells, a type of photoreceptor cell that gives us detailed, color vision