Stem Cell Research Eyesight

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What are stem cells?

Ophthalmology to Benefit from Stem Cell Research

Author: WhereismyDoctor

Doctors will begin testing human embryonic stem cells on people to possibly advance treatment for retina disease. The study is believed to make tremendous leaps in correcting vision impairment.

The treatment is targeted for people with Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD), a retina disease that causes vision impairmentby damaging the cells in the central part of the eye, which hinders one's central eye sight and sometimes color perception. The disease is often genetic, and worsens with age. Currently, no treatment for Stargardt's exists.  Doctors believe the human embryonic cells will replace the dead cells in the retina of the patient with Stargardt, and, in so doing, correct symptoms of vision problems.

"Using stem cells, we can generate a virtually unlimited supply of healthy RPE cells, which are the first cells to die off in SMD and other forms of macular degeneration," Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Robert Lanza stated in the company's press release.

Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), a biotechnology company based in Massachusetts, specializes in cellular technology in regenerative medicine.

ACT will begin the testing on 12 patients suffering from Stargardt's. The research will start with inserting only a few thousand cells into each eye to ensure the safety of the study. Doctors can monitor the vision of the patient to see how the treatment progresses.

The approved study represents leaps for the possibilities human embryonic stem cell research has to offer not to ophthalmology, but the entire field of medicine. The only other trial of therapy using human embryonic stem cells approved by the FDA is a treatment for spinal cord injury.

The doctor's optimism towards the study stems from the vast improvements that the testing has shown in animals. "The study results of ACT's RPE cells implanted in the various animal models of macular degeneration was phenomenal. If ACT observes even a fraction of that benefit in humans, it will be nothing short of a home run," stated Raymond Lund, a scientific collaborator with ACT. Mr. Lund, Ph.D., is a renowned doctor in the world of retinal cell physiology.

While Stargardt's disease only affects about 40,000 Americans, macular degeneration is a common symptom of age and the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Up to 30 million people in the United States and Europe are burdened by macular degeneration. Doctors hope that the treatment for Stargardt's will open doors for all sorts of common macular degeneration treatments.

Stem cell research has been a controversial issue in the United States because it involves killing human embryos.

ACT's chairman and CEO referred to the study as a "game changer" in the medical community.  "I think generations will look back at this time as one of the most exciting in the history of medicine."

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2 Responses to Stem Cell Research Eyesight

  1. vasa says:

    how far is the research on stem cells there any remedy to rejuvenate the scarred kidneys in india
    we want to know wheather there is a remedy in the near future for scarred kidneys,due to diabetics with the help of stem cells.doctors from india, chennai can help me know if it is husband who is working as a chief manager in a reputed bank is suffering with scarred kidneys for the past six to seven years. he is under medication. his creatinine is 3 normally it should be we came to know that when stem cells were replaced with damaged cells it helps to restore the organs.lately in india in chennai an eye operation was done with the help of stem cells and eyesight was restored for a small after coming to know that stem cells can also be used for repairing damaged organs we are eagerly waiting for the progress of the that it can help us to avoid from going for a kidney transplant in the future.i am mother of two teenage kids..please answer us in the most promising way.if doctors know the details, or if anyone else can help us regarding this kindly help.

    • pesific_boy_curious_2_no says:

      First of all::: Stem cell research is still in its First Phase. There are lots of people who do not know about stem cells are trying to discontinue the budget and the research in order to use the science in most convenient way as they believe and opposes such good research. But the US Government still has to take a decision in this matter and even if the research will be succeed still it will take much time to do the research upon that stem cells. Coz They will make an experiment on the animals first and if the research will show the desired results then and then the scientists will be allow to make an experiment on the humans. The story you heard about the boy and his eye cured by the stem cell is not true. It is only rumor. So I mean to say you and your husband please try to be patient atleast for the next 3 years because the programme is still in its pipeline phase and this is the real truth.

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