Stem Cell Treatments for Aged Related Macular Degeneration
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) leads to blindness. This condition affects those 50 years old and older which can start slowly and eventually progresses to complete blindness. Presently there are no cures for this disease, though there are some vitamin and supplements when taken are thought to slow the progression.
Diagnosis is with a series of test by an Opthalmologist including visual acuity test, dilated funduscopic exam, Amsler grid and high tech testing such as optic mapping. The disease is classified as early, intermediate and late AMD. AMD can occur in only one eye or both.
- In geographic atrophy (also called dry AMD), there is a gradual breakdown of the light-sensitive cells in the mascular that convey visual information to the brain, and of the supporting tissue beneath the mascular. These changes cause vision loss.
- In neovascular AMD (also called wet AMD), abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina. (“Neovascular” literally means “new vessels.”) These vessels can leak fluid and blood, which may lead to swelling and damage of the macula. The damage may be rapid and severe, unlike the more gradual course of geographic atrophy. It is possible to have both geographic atrophy and neovascular AMD in the same eye, and either condition can appear first.
Present Stem Cell studies offer hope
Interestingly there are some studies ongoing in Germany for transplantation of laboratory stem cells to the mascular region which offer some great hope. This research may offer a cure in the future. We certainly hope that this will be the case. There are other studies for various stem cell or cellular therapy approaches as well.
We at the Hawaii Stem Cell Treatment Center have interest in this disease and cellular based therapies. Some of our affiliated physicians are studying this disease intensely according to protocols they have developed. Under the specialist here in Hawaii we may provide such protocol so contact us for further information.