New Macular Degeneration Treatment on the Horizon?

With researchers at the University of Wisconsin demonstrating they can grow retinal cells from skin cells, a new treatment for macular degeneration may be on the horizong.

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that involves the degeneration of light-sensitive retinal cells in the eye.  Treatments are currently available for only wet macular degeneration, leaving people suffering from dry macular degeneration with little or no treatment options.

Growing retinal cells from skin cells could lead to a new treatment for macular degeneration.

As part of their research, human skin cells were manipulated to act like embryonic stem cells.  Stem cells can then be used to grow into any tissue in the body, including retinal cells.  This research suggests that doctors may be able to repair retinal cells damaged by macular degeneration by growing new cells generated from a patients own skin.

People with macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, eye diseaseas that eventually lead to blindness, may benefit from this possible new treatment.

According to David Gamm, a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Wisconsin, the laboratory process of creating human retinal cells helps researchers understand how eyes develop, so disease (such as macular degeneration) that lead to vision loss may someday be treated or even cured with retinal stem cells.

This research comes after several other researchers have announced successes using stem cells to treat macular degeneration.


  1. I have been fighting Macular degeneration for about f our years now. At the age of 63 and limited to what I can do I would appreciate any help or information you have.


    Jim Sprague

  2. Jennifer Estes says:

    My father has AMD, he is 86. My mother has had to become his caretaker. If there is a study in which he can participate, how do I find out? It would be wonderful if he could fish, drive or even walk without fear again.

  3. Echoing Mr. Sprague’s sentiments. Bill has been trying to slow the progression of this malady for the last 15 years. He has just turned 65 and in the last 4 years the deterioration has been dramatic. He had to give up driving a year ago. We have our own business and what used to take him 3 hours to do, he can’t complete in a long day’s work. Please, if you would keep us informed and let us know when you are ready for trials or treatment, he’ll be there. We were looking at the Xcell clinic in Germany, but not any data published on successes. Entered by his wife, Linda

Leave a Reply to James H. Sprague Cancel reply