Stem Cell Therapy Can Restore Vision

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Jan 16, 2017 04:09 PM EST

A ray of hope for the Blind Ones as the Buck Scientists discovered a way to restore the long-term vision disease affecting the eyes. Hopefully, stem cell therapies hold great promise for regaining function in a wide variety of degenerative conditions, provided the cells survive in the body long enough to work. This latest and new methodology of transplanting stem cells possesses the ability to restore eyesight for the blind after they have contracted eye disease.

Although, this technique is possible in lab mice but in near future this technique will be successfully used in human beings. Researchers from the Buck Institute are able to restore Long-Term Vision in blind mice by transplanting photoreceptors obtained  from human stem cells and obstructing the immune response that causes transplanted cells to be rejected by the recipient.

Publishing in the cell stem cell, this work points-out immune system rejection as one of the main issues that need to be addressed to enhance the effectiveness of stem cell regeneration therapies. The findings support a path to improving clinical applications, exclusively for restoring sight in humans by letting photoreceptors obtained from human stem cells to integrate and thrive in the eye.

 "This turned into a nice story of the long-term restoration of vision in completely blind mice," said Buck faculty and senior author Deepak Lamba, PhD, MBBS. 

Photoreceptors are specialised neurones in the retina responsible for converting light into signals that the brain interprets as sight. Loss of these cells is a prevalent endpoint in degenerative eye diseases. Human embryonic stem cells can provide a potential source for photoreceptor replacement, but despite Lamba's prior work revealing that photoreceptors obtained stem cells could function in mice, researchers hadn't been able to show long-term sustained vision restoration. 

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