Monday, November 23, 2009

Stem cell treatment for the eyes

US researchers have filed a request to conduct human trials for the treatment of Stargardt disease. Stargardts is a common form of blindness in children.
According to animal tests, stem cell treatment, consisting a single injection of stem cells, prevented further vision loss without adverse side effects. It works by replacing retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPE) which are a vital part of the retinal tissue that collects the light needed for functional vision."If you start to lose these RPE, the environment for the photoreceptors degenerates," Lanza said (on of the researchers)."By putting these RPEs back in you can prevent the loss of these photoreceptors and prevent blindness."

Trials could begin as early as next year.