Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New stem cell approach for blindness successful in mice

According to this story in  Science Daily scientists at Oxford University in England have made yet another vital step towards curing blindness.

The particular cause of blindness to be cured in this possible new stem cell treatment is Retinitis Pigmentosa. A retinal disorder where all light receptors eventually die.

Scientist took blind mice, not the ones from the nursery rhyme :) and injected mouse retinal stem cells into their eyes.

The mice which had previously shown no recognition as to light levels began, after two weeks to show growing preference for darkness. Upon inspection scientists found most of the mice 10 out of 12, showed pupil reaction to light. Prior to the injection of stem cells no reaction had been seen.

The conclusion reached by scientists was that the mice had grown a completely new retina. Which had begun to send signals to the brain and the mice were to all purposes now sighted.

The scientists hope that human skin and or blood cells will be able to be manipulated to generate stem cells.

A blind person will give a sample of their own skin or blood cells. These will possibly be cultured to generate the correct kinds of stem cells and in large enough quantities to inject back into the donor's eyes in order to regenerate a working retina. All this avoiding the risk of rejection and possible ethical problems caused by the use of embryonic stem cells.

To read the full story please click the link below.


New stem cell approach for blindness successful in mice