Can Stem Cell Transplantation Therapy Be Used to Restore Vision Lost Due to Glaucoma?

September 27, 2009

My husband to be has only 7 degrees of vision in his left eye and is completely blind in the right.  How encouraging is stem cell transplantation therapy in possibly ever increasing his vision and possible restoring the retinal ganglion nerve cells?  He has had glaucoma and this degree of vision loss for around 20 years and he is only 49 years old.  We found a website called Stem Cells for Hope that has a medical evaluation form to fill out to be considered for stem cell therapy.  The closest clinic is in Mexico.  Are there any trials or clinics that actually do stem cell therapy for possibly restoring sight?

 

 



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5 Responses to “Can Stem Cell Transplantation Therapy Be Used to Restore Vision Lost Due to Glaucoma?”

  1. Dr. Ari Weitzner on September 29th, 2009 6:40 pm

    any retinal stem cell therapy at this time is purely experimental. if he undergoes this treatment, be prepared for no results and loss of a lot of money. if a reputable, world-class eye center like wills or bascom palmer is conducting studies, then it may be worthwhile to volunteer, and it would be free to you. otherwise, going to a “clinic” in mexico is sure to be a collasal waste of time and money. so my advice is to call wills or bascom palmer and ask whether any stem cell studies are being performed.
    you have to understand that stem cell therapy to reverse blindness is in the very early stages. i dont expect anything practical for many years. i am so sorry i dont have better news for you.

  2. sharon on June 16th, 2010 3:54 am

    My father lost his eyesight due to glaucoma. He says he is willing to allow himself to be part of an experiment if there was any hope in his eyesight being restored. How safe is signing yourself over to a hospital to be part of an experiment? Do you feel it would be worth it? We live in Maryland, home of Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Clinic.
    He had been diagnosed in his early thirties and is now 72 years old. He has had laser surgery, taken medications to reduce the pressure and he still lost his eyesight completely in the last 6 years. My youngest sister also suffers from this insidious disease and also my youngest brother. My sister was only 15 when diagnosed and now, in her mid forties, she is still losing sight in spite of taking her anti-pressure meds and having had laser surgery once. She can no longer drive. My baby brother was in his early thirties when diagnosed and is now in his early forties. Any information you have will be extremely appreciated.

  3. Frank on January 22nd, 2013 6:35 pm

    Dr. Ari Weitzner,

    then is the story of Macie Morse a lie? she regained vision by restoring her site using stem cell therapy in china. Covered by many news outlets and verified.

    aren’t you a bit too negative and perhaps mis-nformed?

  4. JD Bliss on January 22nd, 2013 10:17 pm

    I don’t think Dr. Weitzner is saying any particular case is a lie. Rather, people need to be very cautious since there have been tragedies resulting from injection of stem cells in China. In other words, the fact that there are some successful cases doesn’t establish that the procedures being employed in China are safe. Alot will depend on the skill of the doctor and the hospital, the purity of the stem cells, etc. In short, I think Dr. Weitzner’s point is that without extensive due diligence, you are simply rolling the dice.

    This blog has previously referenced a website that provides information on evaluating the safety of stem cell therapies – you should check it out:

    http://eyedocnews.com/006111-how-safe-is-stem-cell-therapy/

    Perhaps the most promising results have come out of stem cell therapy trials being conducted by Advanced Cell Technology (Nasdaq: ACTC) at various world-class institutes. See more at:

    http://eyedocnews.com/006904-update-from-maurie-hill-patient-participating-in-clinical-trial-to-treat-stargardts-with-stem-cells/

  5. ari on January 23rd, 2013 10:38 pm

    frank- if we relied on news reports about this or that “cure”, then we would have a cure for cancer and blindness and every other disease out there. these kinds of “reports” are, at worst, either outright lies by people trying to make money/fame, or at best, simple misinformation/bias. i mean, really- if stem cells “cured” someone’s blindness, wouldnt the scientific community look into it??? or is the scientific community part of a conspiracy to keep people sick?
    i never rely on anything except peer-reviewed literature by reputable journals…and even they make mistakes sometimes.

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