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Vision Seminar Speaker, Dr. Henry Kaplan, introduces novel research that carries the hope to restore cone function in retinitis pigmentosa

Date Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018

Henry J. Kaplan MD, FACS, was April’s Vision Seminar guest speaker. He summarized the work he has been doing over the past decade with  collaborators at the University of Louisville, and other universities across the nation. His research team has found a way to revitalize cone receptors that have deteriorated as a result of the blinding disease, retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

Working with swine and mouse models, they discovered that replenishing glucose under the retina and transplanting healthy rod stem cells into the retina restore function of the cones. The research, could lead to therapies for preserving or recovering central vision in patients with RP.

His research has shown that as the rods deteriorate, the cones are no longer able to access glucose, which becomes trapped in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).

As a result of glucose starvation, the cones go dormant and eventually die. His team found that the cones remain dormant for a period of time before they are completely lost, and if the glucose supply can be replenished during dormancy, the cones can be regenerated. This research has the potential to lead to therapies that preserve or restore central vision for individuals with RP.

Dr. Henry Kaplan- Photos
Dr. Henry Kaplan- Photos
Dr. Henry Kaplan- Photos
Dr. Henry Kaplan- Photos
Dr. Henry Kaplan- Photos
Dr. Henry Kaplan- Photos
Dr. Henry Kaplan- Photos