A study has indicated that a new drug could reverse the effects of a mitochondrial condition which gradually robs sufferers of their sight, with the treatment now set to be given the once-over by regulatory bodies.
Researchers from Newcastle University found one-quarter of participants suffering from Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy who took idebenone were able to read a whole row of letters on a chart after 24 weeks.
"This is the first proven treatment for a mitochondrial disorder," said Professor Paul Chinnery, who led the trial. "While we know that their vision is not what it once was, we also know that this treatment can dramatically improve their lives."
The report, recently printed in the Brain journal, found patients who had better vision in one eye than the other experienced the most significant improvement during the course of the testing.
Earlier in the week, Cambridge University and Cancer Research UK announced plans to trial the efficacy of a new device which could help to diagnose Barrett's oesophagus, a possible precursor to throat cancer.