Stem cells can cure blindness

Holy shit, it almost sounds like some sci-fi from the future but its true. Doctors and scientists have been able to restore sight (a couple of times actually) to some people who were blind in one eye with two different methods.

Firstly, watch the video below to learn how a 38 year old man had his sight restored by having his own stem cells from his good eye injected into his bad one:

Russesll Thurnbull was hit in the face with ammonia 15 years ago while trying to break up a bar fight. He ended up getting a condition in one of his eyes called Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency which caused blindness. Late last year a team from Newcastle’s North East England Stem Cell Institute was able to restore his sight.

From gizmodo:

First, the team took a minuscule sample of stem cells from his healthy eye’s cornea. This millimeter square of cells was placed on a amniotic membrane, which was placed inside a liquid made from his blood, glucose, insulin, and hydrocortisone. The cells will grow in that solution until taking all over the membrane, which then is used to replace the damaged cornea.

The result: He completely gained eyesight after only eight weeks of the operation.

Also, earlier in 2009, three Australians have had sight restored to them with a combination of stem cells and contact lenses. Two of the three patients were legally blind in one eye and now they are able to read the big letters on the eye chart.

Basically what they did here was take stem cells from the healthy cornea of the patient and somehow fuse it with a contact lens which the person wore in their bad eye. The stem cells then bonded with the messed up cornea and fixed the damaged cells. Wow!!

Link: Stem cells used to restore sight for corneal disease sufferers

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