Stem cell trial aims to cure blindness

Oct 11, 2015

By Fergus Walsh

Surgeons in London have carried out a pioneering human embryonic stem cell operation in an ongoing trial to find a cure for blindness for many patients.

The procedure was performed on a woman aged 60 at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

It involved “seeding” a tiny patch with specialised eye cells and implanting it at the back of the retina.

The London Project to Cure Blindness was established a decade ago to try to reverse vision loss in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Ten patients with the wet form of AMD will undergo the procedure.


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10 comments on “Stem cell trial aims to cure blindness

  • Some BBC material is not available in some countries.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34384073

    Surgeons in London have carried out a pioneering human embryonic stem cell operation in an ongoing trial to find a cure for blindness for many patients.

    All will have suffered a sudden loss of vision as a result of defective blood vessels in the eye.

    They will be monitored for a year to check that the treatment is safe and whether their vision improves.

    The woman who was the patient – and does not wish to be named – had the operation last month.

    Prof Peter Coffey, of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, who is co-leading the London Project, said: “We won’t know until at least Christmas how good her vision is and how long that may be maintained, but we can see the cells are there under the retina where they should be and they appear to be healthy.”

    The cells being used form the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) – the layer of cells that nourish and support the photoreceptors in the macula – the seeing part of the eye.

    In macular degeneration, the RPE cells die, and as a result the eye loses function.



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  • Thanks, Alan,

    As I’m having an intra-ocular lens placed in my left eye (“OS”) the day after tomorrow, this is very interesting to me! Cataract surgery is a piece of cake (OD was done 2 years ago) compared to the as-yet unproven treatment for AMD.

    Steve



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  • Agrajag
    Oct 11, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    As I’m having an intra-ocular lens placed in my left eye (“OS”) the day after tomorrow, this is very interesting to me!

    I am also looking closely at this, as I am having an injection in my right eye tomorrow to reduce some retinal damage from an earlier bleeding vein.
    Fortunately it is not in the centre of the eye and my other eye is good.



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  • Well, Alan, I’ll pray that the needle is guided by an omni-accurate hand. Oh, that would be the ophthalmologist!

    Too bad the eye is such a complicated structure it couldn’t have evolved. But too bad the designer didn’t plan for it to last, un-serviced, as long as we expect it to. 😉

    Seriously, I hope things go well. My procedure is a relative slam-dunk: some good drugs (maybe I’ll see god), a competent operator, a 2-mm incision in the cornea, no sutures, no eye patch… just a couple weeks of eye drops.

    Steve



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  • Agrajag
    Oct 11, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Well, Alan, I’ll pray that the needle is guided by an omni-accurate hand. Oh, that would be the ophthalmologist!

    After a check on progress they decided I do not need another injection.

    Take care with your treatment!



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  • I want to know when would be possible to clone all the global eyed ball, i had trauma when I was younger and today I use protease in my left side eyed! Also I need recovery the optical nerve because because it died! Thank you if you could answer it!



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