A woman regains her sight with stem cells

A woman regains her sight with stem cells

Recovering vision remains a challenge in these times, however a group of Japanese researchers have achieved what is positioned as the first successful intervention in recovering the vision of a patient.

The causes for decreased vision even leading to total blindness are very diverse. While many of them may have a peculiar nature that makes their treatment difficult, one of them tops the list: the age-related macular degeneration (DME). Our body is a perfect machine, but age takes its toll on all the cellular processes that take place in it.

Our retina transforms the light that enters through the eyeball into images, which are translated thanks to nerve impulses. If we decompose the retina into each of its parts, we mark the mcula, in charge of keeping our vision clear and detailed. If the blood vessels supplying the molecule are damaged, the molecule will also be damaged.

Macular degeneration, blindness in the elderly

A patient in his 70s, diagnosed with DME, participated in a study that offered him an alternative treatment on an experimental basis in 2014. After two years, researchers have started to publish the surprising results.

The researchers’ starting point was a small portion of the patient’s skin, which they took from her arm and with a diameter of about 4 millimeters. Subsequently, they followed a protocol of cell reprogramming, with which they managed to induce epithelial cells into pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).

These cells have enormous potential, since they are capable of generating most of the tissues (the 3 embryonic germ layers) so that we have at hand one ideal tool to cover the need for a specialized cell in a certain fabric.

With the appropriate markers and cell signals, we induce the differentiation of these cells to the cells of the retinal pigment epithelium. The result will be a thin layer of cells that can be transplanted into the patient under his retina.

Recovering vision is already possible

The project director, Masayo Takahashi fromRiken Center for Developmental Biology,ensures that in addition to being carried out without complications in surgery, the project has taken another step in the use of regenerative medicine with iPSC, being the first intervention using this technique. They regain vision and lay the groundwork for the use of induced pluripotent stem cells.

I appreciate having received this treatment. I feel how my vision has improved and I feel it better than ever. The patient states in the magazine Japan Times.

Although it has not been possible to recover the total vision of the patient, the results are promising and not only for the field of ocular medicine, but for every problem that affects us in the current times with new cell reprogramming techniques.

Back to top button

Ad blocker detected

You must remove the AD BLOCKER to continue using our website THANK YOU