May 22, 2009
Stem cell study shows promise in blindness
Stem cells taken from bone marrow show promise in healing damaged retinal tissue, said researchers at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.
The stem cells generated new cells in damaged retinal pigment epithelium, the pigmented cell layer just outside the retina, research led by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad showed.The research could lead to healing vision loss and blindness from age-related macular degeneration and hereditary retinal degeneration, she said.
The study is be expanded at the Swine Institute at the University of Missouri, where pigs are used because of optical similarities to humans, Business First of Louisville, Ky., reported Friday.
Ildstad was assisted by researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland. Their study was published in the Archives of Ophthalmology.