Human Embryonic Stem Cells Cure Woman’s Blindness

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Cure Woman’s Blindness

Can breakthroughs in stem cell research lead to cures for blindness in women and other people? Obviously, the answer to the question is still undergoing rigorous examinations at the moment; however, recent studies and trials have shown that human embryonic stem cells cure blindness in women.

Research into the possibility of restoring sight of blind people with stem cells have been going on for a while, and recent studies gave positive results as a stem cell transplant helped a blind woman regain eyesight.

stem cells

What causes blindness?

In order for you to understand how stem cells can cure blindness it is necessary to understand how blindness occurs in the first place. Apart from the blindness that occurs as a result of an accident, there are many disease conditions and genetic factors that can lead to blindness. Some of the conditions are prevalent among certain age groups. Stem cell treatments proved effective for blindness caused by defective eye cells. This blindness condition usually occurs as a result of cell death. When the light sensitive cells in the eye (retina) die, the affected individual suddenly loses sight.

How the stem cell treatment works

The Stem cell treatment involves the transplantation of cultured human embryonic stem cells into the affected individual. This method helps the individual regain sight by improving the sensitivity of the eyes to light. In blindness caused by a dead retina, the eyes lose their sensitivity to light. When mature stem cells are transplanted into the eye, they replace dead photoreceptors and enable the eyes to detect light. The new discovery is notable and could provide a lasting solution to blindness which was previously thought impossible to cure.

Who can benefit from the treatment?

Several experiments are still going on at the moment to confirm the general acceptability of stem cell transplants in treating blindness. There are different causes of blindness, and not all of them can be cured by stem cell transplantation. Stem cell treatment has been experimented on animals with muscular degeneration. Few human trials have also benefited from the treatment.

Although it may take a while before this type of treatment can be widely accepted, present studies have shown that stem cell transplants are the next level of treatment for blindness that is caused by retina death.

For the full story : BaltimoreSun

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