[AI] FW: (RPP-India) some intresting peice of news

Vamshi G gvamshiai at gmail.com
Wed Jun 2 09:15:42 EDT 2010


 

 

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Vamshi G

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From: rpp-india at googlegroups.com [mailto:rpp-india at googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of pankaj garg
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 6:30 PM
To: rpp-india at googlegroups.com
Subject: (RPP-India) some intresting peice of news

 


Stem cell therapy may help restore sight in retinitis pigmentosa sufferers


 

 Scientists have successfully used mouse embryonic stem cells to replace
diseased retinal cells and restore sight in a mouse model of retinitis
pigmentosa.

According to the research team led by Columbia University Medical Center,
this strategy could potentially become a new treatment for retinitis
pigmentosa, a leading cause of blindness that affects approximately one in
3,000 to 4,000 people, or 1.5 million people worldwide.

Specialized retinal cells called the retinal pigment epithelium maintain
vision. Retinitis pigmentosa results from the death of retinal cells on the
periphery of the retina, leading to "tunnel vision," where the field of
vision is narrowed considerably and everything outside the "tunnel" appears
blurred or wavy.

"This research is promising because we successfully turned stem cells into
retinal cells, and these retinal cells restored vision in a mouse model of
retinitis pigmentosa," said Stephen Tsang, assistant professor of
ophthalmology, pathology and cell biology, Columbia University Medical
Center, and lead author of the paper.

"The transplanted cells not only looked like retinal cells, but they
functioned like them, too," he added.

In Tsang's study, sight was restored in one-fourth of the mice that received
the stem cells.

However, complications of benign tumours and retinal detachments were seen
in some of the mice, so Tsang and colleagues will optimize techniques to
decrease the incidence of these complications in human embryonic stem cells
before testing in human patients can begin.

"Once the complication issues are addressed, we believe this technique could
become a new therapeutic approach for not only retinitis pigmentosa, but
age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt disease, and other forms of
retinal disease that also feature loss of retinal cells," said Tsang.

The study appears online ahead of print in the journal Transplantation.
(ANI)

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