From Darkness to Light

Topics: Retina, Eye, Macular degeneration Pages: 2 (407 words) Published: December 4, 2012
TORONTO- The scientists at Advanced Cell Technology reported this Sunday in The Lancet that they have restored the sight of two women who are legally blind, by using embryonic stem cells.
One patient named Mary, 51 years of age had macular degeneration, a progressive disease of the retina that affects the light-sensing cells in the central area of vision known as the macula, which stops working, and is a very common disease. 25 years old of age, Victoria the second patient, had Stargardt disease that is similar to macular degeneration which affects children and young adults that leads to blindness to both patients. In both diseases internal eye cells best-known as retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells is being affected. A researching team in Toronto took human embryonic stem cells and developed them into becoming RPE cells. To make sure that these RPE cells didn’t have any signs of bacteria or viruses they were tested. It was confirmed that they had been pure cells, which were then injected into the eyes of the two patients Mary and Victoria. (Note; before trying the stem cells on humans, earlier studies were done on rats and mice).

After four mouths of having the stem cells injected into their eyes, both patients showed remarkable improvements in vision that changed their lives forever. Macular degeneration a horrible disease that many people have been affected by is now reversible. “As the cells in both patients have been attaching to other cells in the eye and replacing the damaged area, it has restored their vision” as Sam the leader of the research team explains, and “now is just the beginning to many other success stories, as there is light at the end of the tunnel”.

“Now I no longer need the use of a large magnifying glass to read a novel or to put a thread through a needle” said Mary.

“Finally I have seen my beautiful children”, “I have been waiting my whole life, in hope of regaining my sight back, now to see my whole...
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