Retina Transplants Restore Vision

In a study led by Dr. Norman Radtke of the University of Louisville, KY., it was found that retina implants improved the vision in 7 out of 10 patients with vision loss. These patients had vision loss from either retinitis pigmentosa (RP) or macular degeneration.

Retina cell transplants has shown promise in restoring the vision in patients suffering from retinal degeneration diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.

Research conducted by a research team led by Dr. Norman Radtke of the University of Louisville has shown that 7 out of 10 patients with vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration had inproved vision as a result of the retina transplants. Out of these 10 patients, 6 had lost vision due to RP and the remaining 4 had dry macular degeneration. Both retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration damages the photoreceptor cells of the retina.

In the research, fetal retinal cells were implanted along with their attached retinal epithelium which plays a major role in nourishing the photoreceptor cells of the retina.

Researchers believed that the new cells would grow and replace the damaged photoreceptor cells, thus repairing the retina. Three of the patients with retinitis and all four patients with dry macular degeneration showed improvements in their vision. One of the patients who was suffering from retinitis pigmentosa showed improvements for up to six years after surgery.

Dr. Radtke stated “This clinical evidence shows the promise of our method to alter progressive vision loss due to incurable degenerative diseases of the retina.”

The research team have indicated that further research is required to determine the potential for retinal transplantation to improve vision with these eye diseases.

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