Stem Cell Cure for Macular Degeneration?

Stem cell treatments may be the cure for macular degeneration.  With an American biotech company called Advanced Cell Technology set to apply for a license for using stem cells to treat the eye disease, macular degeneration patients may have a new hope for a cure.

The new stem cell treatment has the potential to save the vision of millions of people who suffer from the incurable eye disease macular degeneration.  Patients would receive an injection of human stem cells that is hoped could repair the damaged eyes.

The stem cells to be used in the macular degeneration treatment will be taken from spare embryos left over after IVF treatments.  These stem cells will be injected directly into the retina, the area of the eye that is damaged by macular degeneration.

Stem Cells have shown to have the ability to develop into any type of tissue in the body, including retinal cells.  It is hoped that these stem cells can and will develop into retinal cells that will reverse the damage caused by eye diseases such as macular degeneration.

This stem cell treatment for macular degeneration is seen as controversial because many “pro life” groups oppose the use of human stem cells for medical research.  However the potential for curing conditions such as macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease and other incurable conditions is seen to outweigh those concerns.

Cathy Yelf of the Macular Disease Society states ““Obviously it is extremely interesting and we certainly welcome it very much indeed.  It is in a way a holy grail because it would enable people to get the therapy that probably holds out most hope for people who have the disease. If people can regrow healthy retinal cells then that would be a wonderful thing.”

With trials for another form of macular degeneration, Stargardt’s Disease expected to begin by March, it is hoped treatments for other eye diseases can take place as well.  Dr. Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology said it plans to follow this trial of stem cell treatment for Stargardt’s with another application to treat macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration attacks the retinal cells and results in the loss of central vision.  Currently treatments for the more serious form of the eye disease, wet macular degeneration involves injections of drugs such as Avastin or Lucentis.  Dry macular degeneration has no viable treatments.

Using stem cells to treat (or cure) macular degeneration would be welcomed by many.  Being at the stage where stem cells are being trialled to treat macular degeneration in humans is a major step in advancing treatments or for providing a cure for this eye disease.

Comments

  1. Elmer Grijalva says:

    Soy medico he realizado transplantes de celula madre de medula y me gustaria contactarlos para tratar pacientes con sus celulas

  2. marjorie egers says:

    i am a 59 year old female with wetmacular degeneration in my right eye – i have lost the central vision in the right eye and would be extremely grateful to know of any new drugs or procedures that would help restore any vision

  3. I was only 39 when I was diagnosed w/ AMD. I would love to find a cure in my lifetime or at least save the vision I have left.

  4. Mari Catalan says:

    Tengo 75 anos de edad. He tenido ceguedad por causa de degeneracion macular, tipo mojado, por 15 anos. Tengo poca vision periferica en los dos ojos. Hay tratamiento que puede ofrecerme esperanza de restaurar mi vision (inyecciones, laser, lentes)?

  5. Gloria Solis says:

    I ,m Gloria Solis I,m 73 and I was told I have Mecula Degeneration on my right eye. I would like to know of a Dr. who can do the stem cell treatment on me . I belive I have the dry AMD Please contact me on my email . Thank you

  6. My name is Gloria Solis I was told I have Mecula degeneration . I would Like to Know Of the treatment of the stem cell . Please contact me on my email . thank you

  7. Lynda Fritz says:

    My daughter is 32 years old and has lost the sight of one eye to wet macular degeneration and now the good eye is having the same problems. She is currently undergoing injection to clear this but not sure if it will work this time. Please email more info on stem cell procedure as soon as possible. Thank you.

  8. I have written a comprehensive article on the use of stem cells in ophthalmology, including the companies and their collaborators who are doing this development, and for which ocular diseases they are aimed at.

    Please take a look at: A Primer on the Use of Stem Cells in Ophthalmology

    The link is: http://tinyurl.com/ophthstemcells

    Irv Arons

  9. jean rawley says:

    hi — i have lost the sight in my left eye from wet macular degeneration and now have it in my right eye and getting lucentis shots — i am very interested in stem cell treatment. please give me any info. you have. thank you.

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