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Stem Cells Will Repair Eye Damage

In Hyderabad, India, a new research center at LV Prasad Eye Institute will use stem cells to treat visual impairments. To restore vision, a reparative tissue will be generated in the laboratory and then transplanted to the patient. The researchers will use autologous–patient’s own–stem cells to grow new cells that will be implanted into eyes.

The center aims to help people considered to be blind, who account for about 1% of the Earth’s population. According to the researchers, while some of the blind suffer from untreatable diseases, others could often be helped but they lack access or money for the treatment, such as surgery in case of cataracts. Among eye diseases, the center targets retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder which results in progressive decline in vision as eye photoreceptor cells are gradually dying.

The treatment cycle at the center will involve the lab, surgery and rehabilitation. For example, the treatment may include gathering of stem cells from the limbus, a healthy area of the eye rich in stem cells, and implanting cells into the damaged cornea – the transplarent layer of cells that covers the front of the eye. As of now, the center has treated about 500 people with vision disorders with 75%-success rate.

Fetal stem cells treatment results depend on: disease's severity, age of the patient, adherence for the medications and regime. Treatment results, presented on this site, are individual for each clinical case.