Implantation of the pigment layer of the retina have helped to preserve...

Implantation of the pigment layer of the retina have helped to preserve vision


The disease, which in varying degrees, threaten human life is one of the priority directions of modern medicine. But modern technology is now able not only to cure the patient of any ailments but also to regain the properties of the senses. For example, recently a group of American researchers successfully rescued from blindness of four patients with macular degeneration of the retina.

About the new method according to the editors of the journal Science Translational Medicine. During the preliminary studies, scientists from the University of southern California on animals found out that to stop the progressive degeneration of the retina and to restore partial vision is possible by means of transplantation of pigment epithelium layer. Because of problems with the pigment layer and cause blindness in macular degeneration. First, the photoreceptors die off, vision becomes blurred, the person begins to experience difficulties with face recognition and reading, and then comes the blindness.

A cellular implant used in the clinical trials was a layer of pigment epithelium cells derived from embryonic stem cells. Cells were placed on a special polymer substrates that mimic the basal layer (the one that separates the retina from the choroid). The experiment involved 5 people. Four of them underwent surgery for implantation of the cells, and after introduction of the implant into the retina of the eye observed during the year. In all subjects the implant is not only well established, but the results of imaging of the fundus was recorded the restoration of the pigment epithelium, and even the integration of new photoreceptors. Three patients vision has ceased to worsen, and even improved. The last, fifth, the patient had the worst. During this time his eyesight has declined considerably. Now experts are planning the next phase of testing and look forward to the full implementation of the new methods of treatment.