New technique recovers the sight of two almost blind people
' Now I can read the newspaper ', is the first sentence of English Douglas Waters, 86, to the English BBC. Waters could not see with his right eye due to macular degeneration, but thanks to a new pioneering procedure with stem cells, he and another patient have seen better.
What is macular degeneration?
In this picture the macula , a small region in the back of the eyes, is damaged, which prevents tasks such as facial recognition and reading. It is very common with advancing age (in a setting called AMD or age-related macular degeneration).
New treatment with stem cells
However, with this new possibility of treatment, tested at the Hospital of Eyes Moorfields, London, and published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, perhaps the problem is more easily reversible. In the art, embryonic stem cells are converted into the special type of cells of one of the layers of the retina (pigmented epithelium and implanted in the back of both patients' eyes.
Even with some signs of rejection shortly after surgery, after 12 months of treatment both patients saw well. "In the months before surgery my vision was very bad and I I can not see almost anything with my right eye, but it's brilliant what this team did and I feel very lucky to have my vision back, "says Waters.
Not Yet a Cure
No Entant the experts still do not want to call this procedure a cure for AMD. Eight other people will undergo this test treatment so that doctors can understand that it is really safe. But the expectation is that in up to 5 years the technique will start to be applied throughout the UK.
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