Researchers Use Stem Cells to Restore Vision To Blind People For First Time Ever
Millions of blind people have just been given hope that they will regain their vision someday thanks to new research from Scotland that uses stem cells taken from the eyes of non-living donors.
A landmark tissue transplant has seen eight patients with a common condition that destroys vision have the affected area repaired. Two patients were even able to read again after having severe macular degeneration.
Experts are saying that this treatment could cure blindness that is caused by damage to the cornea, which is the protective surface of the eye.
“The findings from this small study are very promising and show the potential for safe stem cell eye surgery as well as improvements in eye repair,” explained study leader Baljean Dhillon, professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.
Dhillon went on to describe this medical breakthrough as a “world’s first” and that it has shown experts how eye damage can be fixed with organ donor stem cells. The study focused on limbal stem cells, which are typically lacking in patients suffering from corneal blindness. Located in the top layer of the cornea, the epithelium, these cells act as a barrier against dust and germs.
Once this protective tissue is gone, the cornea becomes irregular, destroying vision and leaving the eye prone to infection, which can then cause drastic vision loss. This groundbreaking treatment will now help people who suffer from this regain their vision again! We can’t wait to see where this treatment goes in the future!