Researchers in Japan have made what can be a remarkable breakthrough in the treatment of macular degeneration. In a method that could make stem cell transplantation a reality, a man along with age-related macular degeneration received iPSCs (induced pluripotent originate cells) derived from a donor’ s skin cells. The particular multi-step procedure involved converting the donor iPSCs in order to retinal cells and transplanting them into a man in the 60s to try and stop the degeneration and preserve the particular man’ s remaining eyesight. Yasuo Kurimoto, the cosmetic surgeon who performed the procedure, plans to enroll five more sufferers into the study.

Macular Degeneration: Statistics

Macular degeneration affects more than 10 million Americans. It is the top cause of vision loss, more than glaucoma and cataracts mixed. According to the National Eye Institute, the prevalence rates designed for age-related macular degeneration in the 2010 U. S. census were roughly 14 percent of Caucasians above age 80. The disease is less common in Hispanics plus blacks, but all races can be affected. Presently, there is absolutely no cure for macular degeneration.

Macular Degeneration: An Overview

The retina is the layer of the eye which allows us to see things. The central portion of the retina is called the macula and it is responsible for sharp central eyesight such as for driving, reading, facial recognition, and imagining the fine details in objects. Degeneration of this level of the eye results in blurry vision and eventually complete lack of central vision and legal blindness. Peripheral vision can be retained.

Donor Pores and skin Cells: Immediate Treatment for Degeneration

A similar treatment for macular degeneration within 2014 in Kobe City, Japan, involved obtaining the originate cells from the patient. The disadvantage of that approach was that any kind of genetic flaws in the retinal cells remained and could possibly hinder the procedure. By obtaining iPSCs from a healthy subscriber, researchers are hopeful of the long-term success of the technologies.

Donor skin cellular material are of special interest to researchers like Nobel-laureate stem cell scientist Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto College who is developing a stem cell bank. This bank gives patients access to immediate treatment rather than waiting for months, initial to find a matching donor and then to cultivate the cells.

It is estimated that up to 50 percent from the Japanese population may benefit from such a procedure, were this to become commonplace. Banks of ready-made reprogrammed stem cellular material will also clear the path for this technology to be used for some other applications, thereby cutting down on costs and making the procedure far more convenient. It is noteworthy that iPSCs are not subject to the same honest considerations that embryonic stem cells are.

References:
1 . https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/amd#1

2 . https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration

3. https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/02/man-receives-stem-cell-donation/

4. http://www.nature.com/news/japanese-man-is-first-to-receive-reprogrammed-stem-cells-from-another-person-1.21730

Mira Swave, MD

Contributor at Regenerative Medicine Now

Mira Swave, M. D. is a specialist in neuro-scientific Regenerative Medicine.

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