A new ray of hope for visually- impaired patients.Retinal cell transplants can restore vision in blind rats, thereby opening up new possibilities for them. Researchers at the University of Texas, have transplanted human retinal cells into rats born with a predisposition to blindness. Experiments showed that the rats were then able to distinguish patterns as well as animals with normal vision.
This is an important step on the way to using retinal transplant to restore sight in people. It might be applicable to those with retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa. There are currently no effective treatments for these conditions. But there's a long way to go, say the researchers, in working out how best to translate this research into humans. They hope they will be doing at least limited clinical trials in humans within the next three to four years.