Genetic condition that leads to blindness discovered in monkeys for the first time

Three rhesus macaques were found to have the genetic mutation that is associated with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome

Scientists hope that the discovery of a sight-threatening genetic syndrome in monkeys could offer new avenues for developing treatments for the condition.

Writing in Experimental Eye Research, researchers highlight that three rhesus macaques monkeys were found to have Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS), which leads to vision loss, kidney dysfunction and other symptoms.

BBS is part of a larger family of diseases that affect the retina called retinitis pigmentosa.

The syndrome occurs in one in 140,000 to 160,000 North American births.

Dr Martha Neuringer, from Oregon Health & Science University, highlighted that there is no cure for BBS at present.

“Having a naturally occurring animal model for the condition could help us find one in the future,” she shared.

Scientists also hope that having an animal model of BBS may lead to a greater understanding of a variety of retinitis pigmentosa diseases.

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