Stem Cell Trial to Cure Blindness

Stem Cell Trial to Cure BlindnessStem Cell Trial to Cure Blindness

The first patient has been treated in Britain in a pioneering trial of a new treatment derived from embryonic stem cells designed for patients with a condition that can cause blindness. Specialists at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital said the operation, described as “successful”, was the first of 10 planned for participants in a trial of the treatment for a disease called ‘wet’ age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Reuters reported.

Scientists who support the use of embryonic stem cells say they could transform medicine, providing treatment for blindness, juvenile diabetes or severe injuries. But critics object because they are harvested from human embryos.

The trial involves inserting a specially engineered patch behind the retina to deliver the treatment cells to replace diseased cells at the back of the eye.

The first surgery was successfully performed on a patient last month with no complications.