The use of gene therapy for blinding disease shows growing promise; however, due to an ever-expanding list of disease-causing genes and mutations, the identification of a generic gene-based treatment is urgently needed. In many forms of degenerative retinal disease, there may be a window of opportunity to preserve daylight vision, as the cone photoreceptors degenerate more slowly than do the rods. In this issue of the JCI, Venkatesh et al. and Xiong et al. exploit two different pathways to promote cone cell survival and preserve vision in murine retinal degeneration models. These studies provide hope for developing a universal reagent to treat many different blinding disorders.
Pavitra S. Ramachandran, Ji Yun Song, Jean Bennett
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