Stem cells shot can treat eye problems

Stem cells shot can treat eye problems
Highlights

An injection of stem cells into the eye may slow or reverse the effects of early-stage age-related disorder that causes vision loss, according to researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

An injection of stem cells into the eye may slow or reverse the effects of early-stage age-related disorder that causes vision loss, according to researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

Currently, there is no treatment that slows the progression of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 65.
“This is the first study to show preservation of vision after a single injection of adult-derived human cells into a rat model with age-related macular degeneration,” said Shaomei Wang, lead author of the study from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles.
The stem cell injection resulted in 130 days of preserved vision in laboratory rats, which roughly equates to 16 years in humans.
Age-related macular degeneration occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. When animal models with macular degeneration were injected with induced neural progenitor stem cells, which derive from the more commonly known induced pluripotent stem cells, healthy cells began to migrate around the retina and formed a protective layer.
This protective layer prevented ongoing degeneration of the vital retinal cells responsible for vision.
Researchers in the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Core, directed by Dhruv Sareen first converted adult human skin cells into powerful induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), which can be expanded indefinitely and then made into any cell of the human body.
These induced pluripotent stem cells were then directed towards a neural progenitor cell fate, known as induced neural progenitor stem cells, or iNPCs.
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