Healthy Living: Eye Opening Gene

Nearly 20 years after being diagnosed, a family finally knows why three out of four of their children lost their sight. Not only could that discovery lead to treatment for them, but as Robyn Haines reports, it could change the future of medicine. That's today's Healthy Living.

Betti Lidsky has had her sights set on finding the cause of her children's blindness for nearly two decades. Three of Betti's four adult children were all diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in their teens.

That's where researchers at the University of Miami come in. More than 50 genes are known to be responsible for R.P., but none of them caused it in the Lidsky family. To find the gene, researchers used whole exome sequencing. The new technology can decode the one to two percent of the genome that contains protein-coding genes.

 About six-million people in the United States are affected by R.P. or macular degeneration — another retinal degenerative disease. To combat these diseases, the Lidsky family founded hopeforvision.org. So far, they've raised millions of dollars all over the country to help cure and treat blinding diseases