Let Blind Eyes Be Opened - Stem Cell Therapy and Aniridia

by Ann Samuel on  March 18, 2007 at 1:15 PM Genetics & Stem Cells News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Let Blind Eyes Be Opened - Stem Cell Therapy and Aniridia
British scientists offer a ray of hope to persons suffering from aniridia - a rare defect of being born with no iris.

Around 1,000 people in the UK alone, suffer from this rare genetic disorder, aniridia, which means they are born without the stem cells that can rejuvenate tissue in the eye.

Sufferers develop diseases normally associated with old age - such as glaucoma or cataracts - when they are young.

Aniridia results in near blindness since the limbal cells that keep the surface of the cornea clear and healthy are missing or few in number.

The revolutionary treatment to restore sight caused by the absence of an iris is being carried out by Dr. Sheraz Daya of Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex, after 7 years of perfecting the technique. This is carried out by using stem cell therapy.

In the procedure, stem cells are harvested from live or dead donors, or the patients themselves, and cultivated in lab dishes.

Once they attain a sheet like growth, they are transplanted into the cornea of the patient and held down with amniotic membranes sourced from donated placentas. The membrane dissolves within 2 to 3 weeks and within a few months the stem cells trigger the complete growth of the epithelium, or top layer of the cornea. They themselves disappear then ,thus eliminating the need of immuno-suppressant drugs.

So far Daya has carried out four such procedures successfully.

Says Daya: "We think the donor cells have attracted stem cells from the bone marrow to make new limbal stem cells, which have arrived at the eye through the bloodstream.

"Once we understand what has prompted their growth, then we can understand what they can do for other parts of the body", he adds.

Similar transplants have been carried out in Japan, the US, Italy and Taiwan, but this is the first time they have been used for patients with aniridia.

Source: Medindia
ANN

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

More News on:

Nervous Tic Reiki and Pranic Healing Eye Vision LASIK Surgery Facts Allergy Eye Drops Routine Eye Examination Quiz On Eye Donation Floppy Iris Syndrome Eyelid Bump 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor
Advertisement

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive