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?”

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

    none. sorry. it will be many years. feel free to consult the stem cell section here to see if there are any trials in your arae

  • Terry Rocks

    I am 47 with optic nerve atraphy. Is there any stem cell treatment for this condition.
    I have been blind since age 5 and would be interested in any of the reasearch into this subject.


  • No, I don’t have any insights to contribute.

  • My son is 27 years old and born in the US. He has been born with mild cerebral palsy which affect his optic nerve and his left side. He is legally blind. He sees better with left eye better rather than his right . He reads large print and wears a spectacle for distance which helps him walk and get around to some extent. I am hearing about stem cell research and I hope it will help him restore his sight and help him to see better. If anyone hear of anything or any trials please let me know. I’m willing to try anything to let my son restore his sight. Thanks rani

  • Sundeep Dawale

    Hi everybody! I am so glad I came across this page. 2 weeks ago I suffered a motorbike accident and the brilliant spark that I am, I wasn’t wearing a helmet. I was knocked unconscious for 10 minutes, during which my wife with the help of bystanders immediately took me to the nearest hospital. When I opened my eyes I found that I had no vision in my left eye. Several high resolution CT orbit scans have been done and no fracture to the optic nerve has been observed. My eye doctor has advised me to simply accept reality and be thankful that I still have vision in one eye. He says unfortunately no pioneering research in stem cell therapy has yielded anything yet. But one still hopes. Keep us posted if anything comes up in this area.

    Thank you Ari for responding to all the above queries.

  • ari

    none at this time. please see irv’s stem cell list of projects

  • Jim Mason

    I had a stroke in 2002 and because of optic nerve damage I had 35% vision lost. I was wondering about possible stem cell trials to repair this damage??

  • Nafi Khan

    Hi everyone. I had a problem with my father who had lost vision about six and half years ago. Then afterwards we came to know that he had the disease of Toxic Optic Neuropathy (TON). He is now totally blind. He is suffering a lot. In our country we consulted with many docs but their reply is negative. Other then we tried to know for the above disease to cure in India,Ukraine,USA and Singapore but they failed to reply us about the treatment of above disease. Is there any stem cell treatment about TON around the whole world? If anyone knows detail about it can reply me.

  • ari

    no. im very sorry. hopefully in the future.

  • Teresa Horrox

    My ex husband was badly burned in a motorcycle accident in 1997, there was no head trauma or eye damage from the accident. He was placed in a coma during burn treatments for approx. 4 months. when he was removed from the induced coma he was completely blind. doctors said it was cupping of optic nerve from unknown cause. would stem cell treatment work.

  • Emma

    @ ari, just want to say thank you, like others my search for a treatment for my 7 year old child, who is slowly going blind, he has a mutation in the gene OPA1 and no name for the illness. I was at the point of contacting Vista stem cell in china for information on their $35.000 treatment. I live in France, and no research is done on this. To all the hopefuls I would like to say that pleas dont fall for the treatments, like you all I would be willing to do anything for him to regain his eyes even give my own, but have to admit for the moment nothing can be done. Just try and help him have a happy child hood and make him stronger to face the hard life of a handicapped adult.

  • ari

    please consult the list in the stem cell section here, or consult a world-class eye research center. many dangerous, unregulated centers are out there, ready to take your money on unproven treatments.

  • Pamela B

    I have been diagnosed with Nuero Myelitis Optica and I have lost half of my vision. Nuero Myelitis Opitica (NMO) (varient of MS) is a autoimmune disease and unforunately attacks my optic nerve. I’m in San Diego and hoping to find stem cell information that could potentially help my optic nerve and help me get my eye sight back. I also heard a little bit about stem cells helping the blind see and I was not sure if that would apply towards me. If so, please respond and let me know if there are any clinics and or special treatment facilities I can go to.

    Thanks, Pam

  • ari

    no- stem cells and homeopathy are worthless. dont throw away your good money.

  • Gopal Shastry

    My wife has been detected Glaucoma about two years back. She had cataract surgery for both the eyes. At the time of surgery of the second eye, the Doctor had to postpone the surgery because of pressure in the eye. But surprisingly the Doctor, supposed to be a leading Eye Surgeon from West, India did not measure the pressure after the surgery and also never cautioned us to get the pressure checked regularly. After moving to South, my wife was constantly complaining of the spects. So, we visited the Docotor and got the spects changed. As this was happening pretty frequently, we visited one of the leading Eye Clinics and there the field tests revealed the Glaucoma, in both the eyes and damage has been done to a large extent. As told by the Doctor, the optic nerve got damaged and was told the silent killer cannot be reversed. Being a professional architect, a good painter and a regular reader, was totally taken back and it was a rude shock. We did consult some of the known Eye clinics and the result was same. She has been using the eye drops with a fervent hope that the situation does not deteriorate further. Would be happy to know whether the Stem cell research has lead to any cure for Glaucoma? Also whether Homeopathy and Ayurveda offer any hope for such cases. Hope to get responses on the above. Also would request the Doctor community to specifically check the eye pressure, after cataract surgeries and also caution the patients reg Glaucoma.

  • minhaj ahmad

    i am taking about my mother problem in the both eyes before 2 years back an accident was happened at my home my neighbours damage the both eyes with sharp weapons and after that we meet shankara nintarlay eye hospital chennai and there doctors advice us to immediate eye surgery and told me that yours mother optic nerve completely damaged she cant see any more but i saw recent past news paper through stem cell it is possible to regenration of optic nerve up to certain extent is there any possibility plz conform through mail .Thank you

  • ari

    none. i’m sorry.

  • Ajaz

    As per my eye surgeon:
    Instead, the nature of your retinal detachment led to a reduction of blood into the eye (similar to a stroke of the eye). To date we do not have a way to improve circulation to the eye once it has been lst.
    Un Quote>
    Is there any cure or recommendation from your end to rectify my problem.Please advise.

  • ari

    perhaps stem cells, in many years, will offer you hope.

  • rajeev

    i got an accident in which i lost my right eye vision.doctors said i lost my optic nerve.
    is there any tretment in ayurvedic or any other.