Stem Cell Treatment Successfully Restores Sightadmin
People who have macular degeneration are having their sight partly restored by using human embryonic stem cells. Stem cell science aims at the goal of one day being able to replace everything from hearts to kidneys, and maybe cures for diseases like MS too. Opinion on whether treatments should involve human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or adult pluripotent stem cells from the patient themselves. Use of ESC’S has caused tumors and rejection by the immune system has occured in animals. 18 patients have had hESCs implanted without any trouble within 22 months is a big deal.
Half of the patients suffer from Stargardt’s macular dystrophy while the other hald have atriphic age-related macular degeneration, two of the most common causes of blindness. A team led by Professor Robert Lanza of Massachusetts company Advanced Cell Technology says, “There was no evidence of adverse proliferation, rejection or serious ocular or systemic safety issues related to the transplanted tissue.” The surgery and the suppression of the immune system did produce negative effects, and four patients needed cataract surgery. Ten of the patients had noticed improvement in the visual acuity of their treated eye, while seven remained the same and only one got worse. The other untreated eyes didn’t show any improvement.