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Author Topic: Could stem cells repair optic nerve damage?  (Read 14098 times)

Murshid Al-Kamiyani

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Could stem cells repair optic nerve damage?
« on: 14/09/2008 11:01:06 »
Murshid Al-Kamiyani  asked the Naked Scientists:

Dear Dr Chris

My name is Murshid and I am from Oman

I have been listening to The Naked scientists for about a year and a half now. I really like the podcast as it is both informative and entertaining. The program is by far the best science podcast.

Last week, I got really excited by your report about using stem cells to treat AMD. At the age of seven I was diagnosed with Glaucoma. i lost vision in the left eye 2 years later and I was left with good vision in the other eye to pursue a normal life. Things started going really badly six months ago (I am 24 now) when Intraocular Pressure went up significantly and I started losing vision rapidly. I had to be operated on for the third time five weeks ago. Now I have a visual acuity of 6/18 and life has gotten quit hard.

I wonder if any research is being carried out to treat optic nerve damage using stem cells?? If yes, at what stage it is and how many years before one can expect human trials??
 
Regards to all the team for their fantastic work.

What do you think?


 

Offline RD

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Could stem cells repair optic nerve damage?
« Reply #1 on: 14/09/2008 17:44:20 »
Quote
BBC   5 June 2007

Mr Lyndon Da Cruz, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London has carried out an operation in a handful of patients to take cells from the healthy periphery of the eye in patients with wet AMD and transplant them into the affected area.

The procedures have been successful but are associated with complications, take more than two hours and require two operations.

To make the procedure quicker, easier and more widely available, researchers at the University of Sheffield have grown RPE cells from embryonic stem cell lines.

The hope is that this can be processed into a layer that can be injected into the patient's eye during a simple 45-minute operation.

Tests of the laboratory grown RPE cells in rats with AMD showed they restored vision.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6721685.stm
 

Offline RD

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Could stem cells repair optic nerve damage?
« Reply #2 on: 14/09/2008 17:54:57 »
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Treatment for glaucoma aims to lower the internal pressure of the eye and prevent any loss of vision, or any further deterioration in vision. Options include medicine given as eye drops, laser treatment and surgery. Treatment can't reverse any existing optic nerve damage, so it won't improve your sight if it has already deteriorated.

Medicines
There are several different types of medicine available for treating glaucoma. They help lower the internal pressure of the eye by increasing the flow of fluid out through the trabecular meshwork, or by reducing production of fluid. Your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker (such as timolol).

Several other types of medicines are available in drop and tablet form, as alternatives or in addition to beta-blockers. It's important that you use any prescribed eye drops everyday as advised by your doctor. If you don't, the pressure in the eye will rise again. There are combination eye drops available that may be more convenient if you need to use two different medicines.

There are different side-effects for each type of eye drop. All the eye drops can cause some irritation to the eyes. In addition, beta-blockers can cause itching and dry eyes. Side-effects of other types of medicine may include taste disturbance, darkening of the iris, thickening and lengthening of eye lashes, headaches and blurred vision. Ask your doctor for more information about these medicines.

Laser treatment
A laser can be used to open the holes in the trabecular meshwork. The procedure is usually quick and causes little discomfort. You won't need a general anaesthetic and you will be able to go home the same day. The success of this type of treatment varies from person to person, and you may need to continue using eye drops after laser treatment.

Surgery (trabeculectomy)
The effectiveness of newer medications for glaucoma has reduced the need for surgery. However, surgery is an option if medicines and/or laser treatment have failed to lower the pressure in your eye.

The operation is straightforward and involves creating a tiny opening in the eye wall, which allows fluid to escape into the loose tissue under the conjunctiva (the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye). From there the fluid is absorbed back into the bloodstream.

Further information
IGA (International Glaucoma Association)
01233 64 81 70
www.iga.org.uk

http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/Glaucoma.html#5
« Last Edit: 14/09/2008 17:58:20 by RD »
 

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Could stem cells repair optic nerve damage?
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