Patients regain sight after clinical trial


This is using as the stem cells from the patient's blood and the bone marrow which remains unaffected by the disease.

In July 2015, 86-year-old Douglas Waters developed severe age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In the months before Waters' surgery, his vision was poor and he couldn't see anything out of his right eye.

"I feel so lucky to have been given my sight back", he said.

The "wet" type of AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels in the macula at the back of the eye leak blood or fluid, which leads to vision loss.

The patch was then inserted into the eye, replacing the diseased macular cells. Some effective results have also come in front of the global trial of this stem cells transplant treatment which is shown to be much higher and successfully rated that the controlled group. However, once the immune system is reset, myelin insulation finally has time to regenerate (via special cells called oligodendrocytes), and the body can recover.

The living patch is only one layer of cells thick - about 40 microns - and 6mm long and 4mm wide. The operation takes up to two hours.

Prof Lyndon da Cruz, advisor retinal specialist at Moorfields, told the BBC: "We've reestablished vision where there was none".

Two patients, a man in his eighties and a woman in her sixties, are now able to read again after the procedure, which is the first of its kind.

Almost three years ago, 86-year-old Douglas Waters developed severe vision problems.

They went from not being able to read with their affected eye at all, to reading 60 to 80 words per minute.

Doctors need to be sure it is safe. There is a concern that the transplanted cells could become cancerous, although researchers haven't seen any signs of this so far, the BBC reported.

"We trust this will prompt a moderate "off-the-rack" therapy that could be made accessible to NHS patients inside the following five years". Eight more patients are scheduled to take part in the clinical trial. Those affected usually have problems with mobility, muscle control and fatigue, and can sometimes be affected by other disabilities like blindness, so it's clear to see how momentous a treatment like this could be for the 100,000 affected in the United Kingdom - and around 2.5 million globally.

But a year after the procedure, both could read "with normal reading glasses, though slowly", said a Nature press summary.

Dry age-related macular degeneration is more common and caused by the retinal pigment epithelium breaking down.

Multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease roughly 5,000 people are diagnosed with in the United Kingdom every year, is unpredictable and notoriously hard to treat.

"What's exciting about this study is that the patients recorded an increase in vision", according to Carmel Toomes, Leeds Institutes of Molecular Medicine.