Can Stem Cells be Used to Treat Optic Nerve Damage?

September 6, 2010

I am a 38 year old African American Female, and currently under the care of a retina specialist in St. Louis, Missouri. I was involved in an automobile accident on 5/13/2009 which caused me to lose my sight in my left eye. I was the driver and on impact I was struck in my left eye by the sun visor. After having surgery to remove the blood, I was told by my retina specialist that my optic nerve was badly damaged and due to this damage unfortunately I won’t regain my sight. After several follow up visits it was mentioned that with technology advancing there is talk of “stem cell” treatment for optic nerve damage. I would love to see again out of my left eye and was hoping with today’s technology that would be possible. Please advise on any help that could be available to me. Thank you.




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88 Responses to “Can Stem Cells be Used to Treat Optic Nerve Damage?”

  • Terry Rocks

    I have optic atraphy in both eye no vision at all in left and little vision in the right. is there any trials of stem cell treatments in the uk for this condition. I am now 45 and have been legal blind for about 41 years.

  • ari

    please refer to irv aron’s list.

  • I have an 89 year old retired Sheriff who had an accident several years ago and got stabbed by an oleander plant that has blinded him in both eyes almost completely and would love for anyone that has reputable information on a research center that is looking for participation to please let us know, as he would love to be able to have some sight back and to see and get around again before he passes and does have the monies to travel. Thank you all. xoxoxo

  • ari

    please see our “Stem Cell” category for resources and prior posts.

  • Richard Miller

    I had a stroke and my optic nerve was damaged.I lost 75% of my perifial vision.I went to a Nero optomolgist and he said there is no technology to repair my looks as though im looking through a shade through the upper part of my eye.Could stem cells help? Please contact me and let me know something.Im tired of living my last eight years like this! Thanks Mr Miller.

  • Shambhu

    Struck in my son’s left eye and damage his optic nerve. He is 7 year old .I am being treated in Delhi & Chennai. But no any positive response. plz. help & sugges me.Thx.

  • ari

    as i always say, go to a reputable, world-class institution that publishes its data in respected, peer-reviewed journals. otherwise, you are throwing away money. the american academy of ophthalmology’s panel of experts came out recently with a statement about stem cell therapy, basically stating the same thing. and trust me- if stem cells worked, the academy would be pushing hard to make it available and widespread

  • Patel

    I got stem cells therapy and it worked for me. Stem cells are the only option so search reguvating center phoenix az

  • john

    RECENTLY MY MOTHER LOST HER VISION and it was diagnosed as optic neuritis I took her to the hospital she had sight in one of her eye but they did not diagnosed her and they send her to a eye dr and while i drove her to eye Dr she lost her vision completely in both eye the eye Dr send her to different hospital and she is taking medication now and she thing the her eye sight come back as I read online it wont that is killing me made me to cry day and night to the point that my eyes got dried I read lots about stem cell some one says it does and some one says it wont but as any one tried Acell
    it grows finger by just rubbing it to a to the finger that has been cut would it be possible if it be rubbed to some where close to the optic nerve from on the face or head that might make your body to fix the damage nerve and grow new nerve

  • vinod

    I had an accident and i got same problem. Doctors from my place (kerala) sid there is no much treatment for optic nerve damage. I am now undergoing ayurvedic treatment in kerala. Dont know what extend i will get my vision back

  • ari

    again, i advise going to a world class eye hospital in your area

  • TheJasonsmom

    My youngest son, Jason at the age of 24 lost his eye sight in both eyes. He is now 29 years old. His diagnosis is optic nerve atrophy. Where can he get help?

  • ari

    again, i advise going to a world class eye hospital for this kind of experimental treatment. success for a patient here or there is not “evidence”. every failed treatment in the history of man always had initial success with some patients. true, you make have “nothing to lose”, except for thousands of dollars- so it depends on how much disposable money you have.

  • Patel

    Hey this the patient from chennai and the treatment worked but it maybe because i got the treatment weeks after the incident while in the acute phase.not 100%, but about enough to read and be independent.i advise taking a shot since it cant be worse than it is. Let me know if u any have any question.

  • ari

    as usual, i advise contacting a world-class eye hospital

  • Ernest Philson

    I am being treated for advanced glacoma. My sight is not good at ll. The pressures on my eyes have come down siginificantly but, my sight had been affected drastically. I WOULD LIKE TO BE A VOLUNTEER FOR STEM CELL THERAPHY I RATHER NOT WAIT UNTIL I GO COMPLETELY BLIND. PLEASE HELP ME!! THANKS

  • Julianne Jabon

    She has about 1% vision left, and it is demyelination of the optic nerve, similar to that of Multiple sclerosis.

  • ari

    what is the source of the blindness?

  • Julianne Jabon

    My friend has been blind from Sjögren’s syndrome for many years. Would stem cell treatment benefit her?

  • Cheryl Chan

    ((Shilpa on August 3rd, 2011 8:17 am
    Dear all, Could someone please post some more comments if heard about the Chennai case. My husband is also suffering from the same disorder. Please help by providing some information.))

    Hi Shilpa, I read about the Chennai report, but was curious why there weren’t much publicity with such a big achievement. So I emailed to Dr Dong Feng Chen; Associate Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute the same question. This was her answer:

    Thanks for your e-mail. The story you forward sounds very suspicious to me: (1) I have never heard of it among the ophthalmology society; (2) Injection of 120 ml of cells or any fluid into a human optic nerve is not practical and could cause serious damage to the nerve and the tissues around it; (3) To my knowledge, there has been no scientific proves showing that bone marrow-derived stem cells can turn into optic nerve cells.

    I hope these comments help. Currently, our study on optic nerve regeneration has been limited to animals. There are still enormous amounts of work to be done before our findings can be moved to humans, but I can assure you that my lab is committed to these studies until a therapy for blindness is developed in humans.

    You can also contact our patient Liaison, Mr. Richard Godfrey (who is cced in this e-mail) for further information about other related research going on in our Institute or for being added in our mailing list for future news letters. Meanwhile, you may also check the web site of our Institute at to follow our progress.

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