About Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy
Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (also called Leber's optic atrophy, Leber's disease or LHON) is caused by a change in parts of the genetic code (genetic mutation) found within mitochondria. The human body is made up of billions of building blocks called cells and mitochondria are the powerhouses found within these cells, producing all the energy essential for their survival. LHON affects the cells within the optic nerve, which is the specialised cable transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain. When these cells stop functioning properly, this results in severe loss of vision. If the cells within the optic nerve do not recover and then die, loss of vision unfortunately becomes permanent.