Call us free on 0800 862 0373

Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

Stem cell technology improves eyesight of officially blind patients

Published on 24/01/2012

Scientists have used stem cell technology to improve the eyesight of two women who were deemed officially blind.

Both women, who suffer from different forms of macular degeneration, had their eyes injected with stem cells from embryos as part of a US safety trial.

Macular degeneration affects around 500,000 people in Britain.

Macular degeneration is caused by the death of RPE cells in the retina, and subsequent loss of light receptive rod and cone cells beneath them.

The new RPE cells, developed by US stem cell company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), will help repopulate the epithelial layer and improve the health of the underlying rods and cones.

Each woman had a single eye injected with about 50,000 of these RPE cells that had been derived from embryonic stem cells.

The first woman went from being able to read 21 letters on a sight test to 28, and the second woman went from only being able to detect hand movements to seeing finger movements and better.

According to the study, published in The Lancet, after four months scientists found no safety concerns with the two patients.

At the same time, a British man became the first European to be treated with the RPE cells at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London in a parallel trial.

He said it was too early for there to have been any effect, but he would be returning to the hospital in March for an assessment.

Professor Daniel Brison, of the North West Embryonic Stem Cell Centre in Manchester, said: “This is a very exciting moment for embryonic stem cell therapies.

“This is the first peer-reviewed scientific report showing that cells derived from human embryonic stem cells can be transplanted safely into a patient with no sign of complications.”

"Although the study is limited to safety considerations, very small in scope, and at a very early stage, this is nonetheless a ground breaking moment for embryonic stem cell therapies."

If you are interested in receiving eye treatment on your private medical insurance, choose a policy with dental and optical cover. Compare health insurance online to be covered for revolutionary techniques in the future.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Medical
Stem cell technology improves eyesight of officially blind patientsScientists have used stem cell technology to improve the eyesight of two women who were deemed officially blind. Both women, who suffer fro    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member

Friendly and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble even when i needed to make a small change, excellent service.

Review centre member

The advisor was incredibly helpful and fully explained the differences between the policies. I really liked the fact that I was put under no pressure.

Review centre member

I was pleasantly surprised with the in-depth knowledge, the efficiency and the nice and polite manner of the staff - the explanations were made very clearly.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...