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World J Clin Cases. 2015 Feb 16;3(2):112-24. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v3.i2.112.

Review and update on the molecular basis of Leber congenital amaurosis.

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Oscar Francisco Chacon-Camacho, Juan Carlos Zenteno, Genetics Department-Research Unit, Institute of Ophthalmology, "Conde de Valenciana", Mexico City 06800, Mexico.


Inherited retinal diseases are uncommon pathologies and one of the most harmful causes of childhood and adult blindness. Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is the most severe kind of these diseases accounting for approximately 5% of the whole retinal dystrophies and 20% of the children that study on blind schools. Clinical ophthalmologic findings including severe vision loss, nystagmus and ERG abnormalities should be suspected through the first year of life in this group of patients. Phenotypic variability is found when LCA patients have a full ophthalmologic examination. However, a correct diagnosis may be carried out; the determination of ophthalmologic clues as light sensibility, night blindness, fundus pigmentation, among other, join with electroretinographics findings, optical coherence tomography, and new technologies as molecular gene testing may help to reach to a precise diagnosis. Several retinal clinical features in LCA may suggest a genetic or gene particular defect; thus genetic-molecular tools could directly corroborate the clinical diagnosis. Currently, approximately 20 genes have been associated to LCA. In this review, historical perspective, clinical ophthalmological findings, new molecular-genetics technologies, possible phenotype-genotypes correlations, and gene therapy for some LCA genes are described.


Childhood blindness; Gene therapy; Leber congenital amaurosis; Retinal dystrophies

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