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Stem Cells to Treat Blindness

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 5 Jan 2021 | comments*Discuss
Stem Cells Blindness Eyesight Sight

For people who are blind, the thought of a treatment to restore their sight may seem like an impossible dream. But it may eventually become a reality after scientists last year were able to restore the eyesight of a blind person. The treatment works by replacing those cells in the eye know as retinal cells that have been damaged or worn out from diseases such as macular degeneration. For the elderly in particular, macular degeneration is a common concern as it can lead to enormous loss of vision in one or both eyes.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a top cause of vision loss in older adults. This is the most common illness that results in blindness in the elderly or for those people who lose their eyesight due to diabetes. It wrecks havoc on a person's central vision. This kind of vision is important for helping us to see objects clearly as well as helping us to perform basic, everyday tasks such as reading a book or driving a car.

When macular degeneration strikes, it affects the area of the eye that is important for allowing us to see fine details. The disease may progress very slowly so that a person barely notices any changes at all. Or, it might progress rapidly, causing significant vision loss.

Stem Cell Therapies

Those who might benefit the most from this stem cell treatment are people who suffer from macular degeneration. But researchers think it could work for other kinds of vision loss as well.

How it Works

To perform the stem cell transplant, researchers initially tested things out in blind mice. They injected stem cells into the rear of the eye. The stem cells were able to replace the damaged photoreceptors, which are small, important cells found in the retina. These photoreceptors are vital to your ability to see things and they are very sensitive to light.

Interestingly enough, previous studies using stem cells had failed to restore sight. One reason for the problem relates to the choice of stem cells. In the most recent study, researchers used stem cells that were more mature than the ones previous researchers had used. The choice proved successful as the stem cells developed into photoreceptors and were able to join with the nerves that lead to the brain.

Researchers hope to see these kinds of transplants happening on a greater scale in approximately ten years. With many patients suffering from diseases in the eye that cause photoreceptors to die, this research offers a way to provide photoreceptor transplantation, helping to restore eyesight for many people around the world. The use of a patient's own cells also avoids the potential for immunological rejection, a threat that comes with other types of treatment.

Cautiously Optimistic

Experts do still tend to warn that we should not assume this study means we automatically have a cure for blindness. It is just one case study and there are still a number of challenges and risks that come with the treatment. But it does offer hope for people who are blind from macular degeneration that they may one day have their eyesight again.

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Has stem cell therapy cured any patient with Retinoblastoma ?
Khawaja - 5-Jan-21 @ 12:55 AM
Mam degenraciu makuly, trvalo poskodene nerv. Bunky veduce do mozgu. Vplyvom preeklampsie. Prosim ak by bola sanca na liecbu mojich oci co i len o maly kusok kontaktujte ma. Mam 31r.
Martina - 1-Jan-21 @ 4:27 PM
Hi can I have more info on these please it’s for my husband who has recently gone blind due this disease thanks
Astra123 - 29-Nov-20 @ 8:05 PM
I have had a stroke of the occipital lobe which has taken 50& of my vision on the right of both eyes.Can stem cell treatment help with this issue?Thanks.
Mark - 5-Oct-20 @ 9:33 PM
Hi, my dad is 85 years and has recently lost his vision through suspected giant cell arteritis. Just wondered if stem cell therapy would work on my dad. If you could please let me know I would really appreciate it Kind regards
Nina - 19-Sep-20 @ 8:18 PM
Hello , my brother is blind by birth ... doctors say his retina is damaged due to low oxygen content of incubator machine because he was born premature ....he is now 17 years old ... Is it possible to treat his blindness please answer !!!!!
Pragya - 16-Sep-20 @ 7:35 AM
Hi! My daugther (who is Now 14) she have LCAfrom born. The stem cell therapy that Could help her? Thanks!
Maey - 9-Sep-20 @ 6:55 PM
my daughter is 5 and was born blind with SODcan this help her i want to know more
Ashley - 8-Aug-20 @ 9:31 AM
My mom z diabetic,is it possible that the stem cell can improve her poor vision plz,and also also how many sachets per day.
Sbosh - 11-Jul-20 @ 6:36 PM
My son has optic nerve hymplasia wanted to see if there’s injection that will help him see
Shannon - 9-Jul-20 @ 12:05 PM
Can this treatment be used to treat (or even correct) damage caused by accidents or violence?I work in security and I was injured during my job which resulted in a torn, then partially detached retina.If this can help to restore sight to my blind spot and help with any future detachments I would be excited to hear about it further.
Ninjabrian - 24-Apr-20 @ 8:20 PM
My sister lost her vision in one eye during lifting upper eye lid surgery . Do you think she has chance to get her Vision back by Stem cell treatment .Thanks
Feye - 8-Mar-20 @ 3:13 AM
We are staff and in marketing Departments of stem cells ,this will help a lot for restoring your sight, there are indisputable testimonies. for more inquiries you can call 08067146474
Engr.Snow - 26-Feb-20 @ 8:22 AM
Hi Ian, do you read these comments? I’d like to ask where and who did this stem cell procedure? Sounds interesting.
Dal - 23-Feb-20 @ 10:01 PM
My son (26) and my daughter(22) both have Stargardts.They were both diagnosed with it at the ages of 9 and 10. Will stem cells help them.
Rohn - 5-Feb-20 @ 2:07 AM
Hello! My daughter (who is now 13) was born prematurely and suffers from ROP. She had a very aggressive form and it cause retinal detachment in both of her eyes. She is completely blind with no light perception. She had eye pain caused from the lack of growth in her eyes. She had bilateral eye enucleation performed a few years ago and now has prosthetics in place. Would she benefit from stem cell therapy?
Kaitlyn - 4-Feb-20 @ 4:32 PM
My daughter 6 months old she gets ROP stage 5 and have done the eyes surgery. However, this disease could not be cured. Could you let me know the stem cell therapy that could help her?
Elaine - 26-Jan-20 @ 6:36 PM
Sirmy right eye has been blind due to detachment can i restore my vision from stumcell
Khan - 21-Jan-20 @ 8:12 PM
Good evening sir, I have a night blindness, I want a advice to treat this symptom
Ali - 20-Jan-20 @ 5:08 PM
Good day sir..my name is kabir and I base in Kaduna I am currently having challenges of reading with my eyes..I don't see clearly whenreading cause I notice a black spot covers my vision when reading ..I notice any time I take a lot of fruits or palm oil I see a little better...I have gone for a lot of test and I was told I can only manage it and can't cure ...its very frustrating because I can't read in class when presentation is going on in class I can't see anything on the presentation board..my question is this ..please can the new drug stc30 work for me. Thank you
Kbcube - 19-Jan-20 @ 6:58 AM
Hello All. My cousin has been diagnosed with glaucoma 7 years back. He is now 25. He has lost his vision of left eye. His right eye also is partially impaired. Can you please help.
Zayna - 25-Dec-19 @ 4:35 AM
My father has been diagnosed with glaucoma and one eye has completely lost vision. He is 73.can he use stem cells to conserve vision of his remaining eye
Z vak - 17-Dec-19 @ 10:52 AM
I have marfans syndrome and have had multiple surgeries on both eyes. A few years back i had lasik done and it caused a retinal detachment. I was scheduled for surgery to fix this.Upon waiting for my surgery date i fell down a embankment and hit my head which so happened to knock the other retina loose.So when i arrived for surgery on my right eye, the doctor chose to do my left eye instead. By the time i got back for my right eye it was to late. So im looking for any kind off hope that is out there.I currently can not see anything out of the right eye and am noticing g gf
Chuck - 16-Dec-19 @ 3:06 PM
I had my retina detach two times in the past three years in my right eye. My vision is slightly distorted due to the detachments.I would be very interested in being a stem cell trial patient.I'm 38 years old and this affects every day of my life.Thanks for taking the time to read this.
JUSTIN - 8-Dec-19 @ 2:33 AM
Please help I have a Left detached retina and went blind in 2004. Can stem cell therapy help me to see again . I am 62 yrs old. Is there any research I can get on a list. Since macular degeneration and glaucoma run in my family so I don’t want to lose my right eye as well.
Susan - 17-Nov-19 @ 6:13 AM
I was diagnosed with premature retinas and wondering if stem cells could regenerate what was supposed to fully developed at birth? I’m thinking the layout of development was set from birth but maybe something interrupted the process. Would stem cells jumpstart the process to finish what was interrupted? Thank you
Gabe - 28-Oct-19 @ 5:24 PM
What doctors currently are reporting some success in the use of stem cells to repair and impart vision to blind and partially blind individuals.Are these NIH samctioned trials in this country or are these trials taking place in other countries like China?Who seems to be having the most successes?
Bill - 14-Oct-19 @ 8:44 AM
Hello please help,my sister lost her eyesight in March 2017,she lost her eye sight in hospital and we were told that there is nothing to be done because her optic nerve is damage,the right eye is totaly blind and the left eye she can only see a little with the corner of the eye,is the any assistance you can offer please
Teddy - 9-Oct-19 @ 9:04 PM
Hi. My cousin has long his sight in bith his eyes and can only see with a corner angle in one of the eyes. His eyesight is almost all gone. Can stem cells treatment help him get his sight back and where is it done?
Didi - 30-Jun-19 @ 5:47 PM
9 yasinda oglum retina dekolmani oldu bir kez ameliyat gecirdi isik hissi hareket var buyuk nesneler var ama ayrinti yok diyor kok hucre tedavisi onerildi yapilabilecek bir sey varmi
Esbi - 18-Jun-19 @ 4:50 PM
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