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my best friend's son has been diagnosed with Leber disease. I had never heard about it, before. Is there any hope that he can retain his sight in one eye? Is there anything we can do to help? His vision is very poor, he sees large shapes in the right eye, and has 20/50 sight in his left, but they say that is still degenerating. Is nerve regeneration posibble?

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Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) or Leber optic atrophy is a mitochondrially inherited (mother to all offspring) degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons that leads to an acute or subacute loss of central vision; this affects predominantly young adult males.

Clinically, there is an acute onset of visual loss, first in one eye, and then a few weeks to months later in the other.

The prognosis for those affected is almost always that of continued very severe visual loss. Regular corrected visual acuity and perimetry checks are advised for follow up of affected individuals. There is no accepted treatment for this disease. Genetic counselling should be offered.

There are various treatment approaches which have had early trials or are proposed, none yet with convincing evidence of usefulness or safety for treatment or prevention including: Brimonidine; Minocycline; Idebenone; Curcumin; glutathione; Near infrared light treatment; and Viral vector techniques.
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