Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stem Cell Trials may be Treatment for some forms of Blindness

On Friday June 17, 2011Advanced Cell Technology, (ACT) announced they have reached the human trial stage and two patients with forms of Macular Degeneration are being prepared for injections of Human Stem Cells at UCLA in Southern California. I am including the newspaper report for you along with this post.

ACT's trials are not uncontroversial, many see the term stem cell as synonomous with abortion. It is true early stem cell production relied on aborted foetuses, but as technologies improved it was discovered stem cell could be found in non foetal tissues and so today donors can offer stem cells.

ACT has developed systems of manufacture which allow stem cells to multiply in industrial proportions. Macular degeneration is just onee possible use for the new treatments, others include Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimers
.
Stem cells are cells which have a general DNA structure which has not been defined by structures around them. They could become nerve cells, blood cells or muscle tissues. The treatments generally consist of an injection of stem cells in solution close to the site where they are to develop. In the case of Macular Degeneration they are injected into the eye, where they lodge in the retina and should develop into specialized retinal cells. This has been shown to work in laboratory animals.

If successful this technique could be a valuable treatment for both ACT and many people around the world. Macular Degeneration is a major cause of blindness in the Western World and treating the condition could allow several million people to enjoy a full and productive life with sight.

Human Stem Cell Trials Prepared for Treatment of Macular Degeneration