News on Wellness

New Stem Cell Therapy For Macular Degeneration Is Under Testing Among Patients!

embryonic cells

A new therapy and the first of its kind, based on embryonic cells to cure vision loss were launched this year by Advanced Cell Technology. A Boston based company is conducting advanced human trials for patients with macular degeneration. As hoped by this organization this would be a remarkable feat and would help millions with vision loss or vision related problems.

embryonic cells

Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), has claimed that this approach is full proof and safe. This treatment will be focused on two categories of patients, one who suffers from Stargardt’s disease, which is an inherited and progressive vision loss problem and mostly affects children. The second group who would be benefitted is the patients suffering with macular degeneration, which leads to vision loss among people aged 65 years and above. The publications related to safety of the human trials are to be published soon by ACT.

The areas of focus in this treatment are the retinal pigment epithelial cells which are obtained from embryonic stem cell cultures. Around 150 micro liters of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE), cells are inserted surgically under the patient’s retina layer. This is very minute quantity, which would roughly amount to three drops of rain. RPE cells are believed to support the retina’s photoreceptor cells which play the role in visualizing objects. These cells receive and detect light, and passes on the information to brain cells after which image formation occurs.

This therapy has shown remarkable results with one patient who was previously blind. After the impressive results ACT is now conducting trials on 12 new patients who have either macular degeneration or are suffering from Stargardt’s disease. This therapy was a by chance discovery by Dr. Irina Klimanskaya, the Director of Stem Cell Biology department in Advanced Cell Therapy. The ability of stem cells to differentiate into cultures of RPE cells were backed with molecular tests. By 2020 it is estimated that around 200 million people would suffer from vision related problems. This therapy when established will save millions especially from dry eye related macular degeneration.


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