Blindness Cured By Stem Cells By Bera Te.

Published: June 23, 2010 Related Yes that’s right, no miracle prayers, no miracle cures. Stem cells has cured people who were blinded or suffered tremendous damage to their eyes by chemicals[such as the eye above]. In the Italian-led research-treatment, 96 out of 107 patients were completely or partially cured of their blindness according to the New England Journal of Medicine. The stem cells (‘borrowed’ from the patients’ healthy eyes) were first multiplied in the lab which were then transplantedinto the damaged eye(s) which then grew into new tissue fixing the damage. Furthermore, since the cells were taken from the patients themselves, no drugs were required for their body system to forcefully accept the transplants. The results were not immediate, it took several months for those who underwent the transplants and even longer for those who had even more damage done to their eye. Still, the patients’ visions were restored. The use of stem cells by reversing blindness is relatively new while stem cells used to cure diseases like leukemia have been in practice for quite a time now. Though this is an excellent breakthrough, stem cells transplants in this manner cannot assist patients who have taken damage to their optic nerve. Doctors say that completely blind people cannot be cured by this process because the stem cells need to come from one healthy eye in order to have the cells grow into new tissue. This study, funded by also the Italian government, had doctors treat the one hundred and six patients between since the late 1990?s. In describing the reaction of the cured patients, according to AP, the University of Modena’s Center for Regenerative Medicine’s Head of Cell Therapy Graziella Pellegrini described the patients as being “incredibly happy”.

About half of those with deep damage to the eye recovered vision. In all eyes.essential to good vision -. "By the time [researchers] put them on the damaged cornea." said Dr. while all of the rest did." like a watchglass on a watch. A doctor transfers the stem cells to the burned eye. the stem cells can cover the eye.the outermost layer of the eye -. A participant in the Italian study described as Patient 93. a practicing corneal specialist and professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. for example.cells with the ability to transform into many types of cells -. Stephen Pflugfelder. where they may begin creating new cells that allow the cornea to work properly again. had such poor vision after an acid . battery acid.with a graft of healthy stem cells grown in the laboratory.1 percent. By Randy Dotinga HealthDay Reporter WEDNESDAY.) In 10.6 percent of the patients and partially successful in 13. The results are published online June 23 in the The New England Journal of Medicine. who was not involved with the Italian study but is familiar with its findings. or very poor alternatives. added Pflugfelder. the ultra-thin cornea is vulnerable because it doesn't have much protection. Italy.A new Italian study describes a technique that doctors can use to restore vision to some patients with severe burns to their eyes. Burns to the cornea from fires are less common. A clear cornea -. industry chemicals and even eggs that explode into people's faces when they open the doors of microwaves.Stem Cell Technique Restores Sight to Burn-Injured Eyes Lab-grown graft provides 'biological contact lens' for cornea. Pellegrini said. in part due to surgical complications or the severity of injuries. With the exception of stem cell treatments."is the clear window on the eye. (Success was defined as an absence of all symptoms and the permanent restoration of a renewing. Researchers coaxed the eye's limbal stem cells to reproduce in a lab culture before implanting them in the damaged corneas of 112 patients. Burns can severely damage the cornea and rob a person of sight. Pflugfelder said. who says the technique works well. if he or she has one." said study co-author Graziella Pellegrini. or from the eyes of a relative or another person. perhaps because burns severe enough to harm the cornea are often fatal. he said.3 percent of the patients. experts say. The prognosis is generally good for patients with minor burns to the cornea. the treatment did not work. spills of boiling liquid. The treatment "is like putting on a biological contact lens. Existing treatments for severe burns involve taking stem cells from the patient's healthy eye. But deeper burns damage the eye's limbal stem cells -. The treatment described in the study takes a slightly different approach.and can cause severe glaucoma." Pflugfelder said. June 23 (HealthDay News) -. head of the cell therapy unit at the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Modena. The study reports that the treatment was successful in 76. The therapy restores the burned cornea -. "the patients have almost no alternatives. The burns can come from firecrackers. transparent cornea.

Baylor College of Medicine. they had undergone unsuccessful surgery.000-$30.S. Italy. professor of ophthalmology and director. "Limbal Stem-Cell Therapy and Long-Term Corneal Regeneration. respectively. 13. It's not clear how long the treatment will last before it has to be repeated. after suffering alkali burns. visit the U. the study noted. the study reported. for example. Ocular Surface Center. More information For more about the cornea. although it is performed in other countries.) .who had had severe burns to both eyes -. Patients 22. with patients 22 and 46 regaining complete visual acuity.D.and improved his vision. July 23. Ph." The New England Journal of Medicine. National Library of Medicine. Graziella Pellegrini. The researchers were able to restore a stable corneal covering to all three. Pflugfelder said. were nearly blind in one of their eyes. with completely opaque corneas. the treatment is relatively inexpensive. the procedure was successful in some patients who had been burned years before entering the study. 26 and 46. this specific stem cell treatment is not approved for use in the United States. A graft of limbal stem cells also restored the corneal surfaces of Patient 24 -.burn to his eye that he could only see with it well enough to count his fingers. a graft the researchers developed from limbal stem cells restored normal vision. (SOURCES: Stephen Pflugfelder. Pflugfelder said.. At about $20. Interestingly. University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.000. M. Houston. Currently. head. 2010. and 3 years before admission to the study. although some patients in this study did well for as long as 10 years..D. Cell Therapy Unit. Modena. 30. Center for Regenerative Medicine.

Via Glauco Gottardi 100. Ocular burns may destroy the limbus. 1. detected as cells that stain intensely (p63-bright cells) in the cultures.D. Stanislav Matuska. Address reprint requests to Professor Pellegrini at the Center for Regenerative Medicine Stefano Ferrari..S. and the Center for Regenerative Medicine Stefano Ferrari.M. median.. ABSTRACT Background Corneal renewal and repair are mediated by stem cells of the limbus.D. at NEJM.Limbal Stem-Cell Therapy and Long-Term Corneal Regeneration Paolo Rama.93).D.P.6% of eyes. M. success — that is. Ophthalmology Unit.. Conclusions Cultures of limbal stem cells represent a source of cells for transplantation in the treatment of destruction of the human cornea due to burns.D. M. Cultures in which p63-bright cells constituted more than 3% of the total number of clonogenic cells were associated with successful transplantation in 78% of patients.D. renewing corneal epithelium was attained in 76. Michele De Luca.. the generation of normal epithelium on donor stroma — was associated with the percentage of p63-bright holoclone-forming stem cells in culture. University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. a highly disabling ocular disease. In post hoc analyses. causing limbal stem-cell deficiency.pellegrini@unimore.R. Results Permanent restoration of a transparent. and Graziella Pellegrini. Source Information From San Raffaele Scientific Institute.. Alessandra Spinelli.. S. G. Modena.D.L. G. Milan (P. with up to 10 years of follow-up (mean.. Giorgio Paganoni. M. the narrow zone between the cornea and the bulbar conjunctiva..99. Clinical results were assessed by means of Kaplan–Meier. We also assessedthe clinical outcome according to the percentage of holoclone-forming stem cells. Modena. In contrast. 2010. Restored eyes remained stable over time. We investigated the long-term clinical results of cell therapy in patients with burn-related corneal destruction associated with limbal stem-cell deficiency. M. Italy (M. Kruskal–Wallis. Graft failure was also associated with the type of initial ocular damage and postoperative complications. This article (10.P. and univariate and multivariate logistic-regression analyses. Italy.1056/NEJMoa0905955) was published on June 23. most of whom had burn-dependent limbal stem-cell deficiency. cultures in which such cells made up 3% or less of the total number of cells were associated with successful transplantation in only 11% of patients. or at graziella.D.).. .). A.91±1. University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Methods We used autologous limbal stem cells cultivated on fibrin to treat 112 patients with corneal damage. The failures occurred within the first year. M.

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