The recent developments in genetics research have led to an incredible growth in our understanding of ocular conditions, leading to the 2017 FDA approval of the first groundbreaking gene therapy and the ongoing development of new gene therapies for numerous inherited retinal dystrophies. Our increased understanding of the genetics of eye conditions expands the opportunities for eye care practitioners to provide patients with more specific diagnoses, more accurate assessment of prognoses, and improved counseling. This includes the ability to deliver gene-specific patient education on eligibility for gene therapy and gene therapy clinical trials.  This panel presentation and discussion will provide an introductory level overview of the most common patient questions and answers surrounding genetic testing and gene therapy. We will cover the current state of gene therapy as well as other ongoing clinical trials, including developments in CRISPR gene editing, optogenetics, and antisense oligonucleotide-based therapy. Focus will be placed on covering the information optometrists can provide to patients to help them make the best informed decisions about their ocular management. We will also discuss the ramifications of gene therapy for the future of low vision rehabilitation and ocular health management. Attendees will be provided with resources to stay up-to-date with genetics information and clinical trials.

Course Code:



Rachelle Lin, O.D.

Ben Shaberman, O.D.

Jill Dolgin, PharmD



AOA Expiration Date:


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