Macular Degeneration and Stem Cell Therapy
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration or Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD,ARMD) is a eyesight condition which mostly affects older people. AMD results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage or wear to the retina.
AMD can occur in either a wet or dry types. AMD is a major cause of visual impairment in people of 50 years age or more. AMD can make it difficult or impossible to read or to be able to recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision can remain to allow normal daily life.
Although some macular dystrophies that younger people get are referred to as macular degeneration, the term generally refers to age-related macular degeneration.
Stemming vision loss with stem cells.
J Clin Invest. 2010 Sep 1;120(9):3012-21
Authors: Marchetti V, Krohne TU, Friedlander DF, Friedlander M
Dramatic advances in the field of stem cell research have raised the possibility of using these cells to treat a variety of diseases. The eye is an excellent target organ for such cell-based therapeutics due to its ready accessibility, the prevalence of vasculo- and neurodegenerative diseases affecting vision, and the availability of animal models to demonstrate proof of concept. In fact, stem cell therapies have already been applied to the treatment of disease affecting the ocular surface, leading to preservation of vision. Diseases in the back of the eye, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and inherited retinal degenerations, present greater challenges, but rapidly emerging stem cell technologies hold the promise of autologous grafts to stabilize vision loss through cellular replacement or paracrine rescue effects.
PMID: 20811157 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Related Articles Perspectives of Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Age-Related Retinal Degenerative Diseases. Cell Transplant. 2017 Mar 17;: Authors: Holan V, Hermankova B, Kossl J Abstract Retinal degenerative diseases, which include age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, mostly affect the elderly population, and are the most common cause of decreased quality of vision or even blindness. So far, there is no satisfactory treatment protocol to prevent, stop or cure these disorders. A great hope and promise for patients suffering from retinal diseases is represented by stem cell-based therapy which could replace diseased or missing retinal cells, and support regeneration. In this respect, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which can be obtained from the particular patient, and used as autologous cells, have turned out to be a promising stem cell type for treatment. Here we show that MSCs can differentiate into cells expressing markers of retinal cells, inhibit production of proinflammatory cytokines by retinal tissue and produce a number of growth and neuroprotective factors for retinal regeneration. All of these properties make MSCs a prospective cell type for cell-based therapy of age-related retinal degenerative diseases. PMID: 28315291 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]Read more...