Tag Archives: Macular degeneration

Stem cells made from human cells used for eye surgery

A scheme of the generation of induced pluripotent stern (iPS) cells. (1)Isolate and culture donor cells. (2)Transfect stern cell-associated genes into the cells by viral vectors. Red cells indicate the cells expressing the exogenous genes. (3)Harvest and culture the cells according to ES cell culture, using mitotically inactivated feeder cells (lightgray). (4)A small subset of the transfected cells become iPS cells and generate ES-like colonies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 70-year-old Japanese woman with a debilitating eye disease (macular degeneration) has just received the first implant of stem cells created from her own cells. Called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), these can become any type of cell in the body, obviating the moral debate about embryonic stem cells and promising to help the body just as effectively to regenerate tissue – without fear of rejection.

This pilot study that will be done with six patients and include regular monitoring for a year after each procedure. Safety testing for rejection and possible tumor formation was conducted with mice and monkeys before the human pilot.

At last, a decisive step in breaking the stem cell research field wide open.



Stem-cell therapy for aging eye disease

A normal range of vision. Courtesy NIH Nationa...
Image via Wikipedia

A normal range of vision.

It’s exciting to hear that researchers are thinking seriously about how stem-cell therapy might help older people. A company is now requesting permission from the FDA to start a clinical trial using it to try to help a common problem of aging—age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The same view with age-related macular degener...
Image via Wikipedia

The same view with age-related macular degeneration

I saw first-hand how miserable it is to be blind when you get old.  It crippled my ex’s grandmother for years. She couldn’t watch television, sew, read, or do anything to occupy herself in the last decade of her life. Then his mother went through the same thing.

Getting old is bad enough. If we are also robbed of our ability to navigate the world and are unable to enjoy so many formerly rewarding activities, it makes the struggle even more difficult.

Thank heavens the magic of stem cell therapies works for problems of the elderly, too. And that our researchers are interested in exploring ways to help people age more gracefully.

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