Cord blood stem cells may help restore vision for those suffering from macular degeneration

A phase 2 clinical trial is underway for the use of stem cells from umbilical cord blood to treat the most common form of macular degeneration. Researchers believe that that the treatment may not only stop the disease’s progression and thereby prevent its worse effects, but in fact, restore vision.

"If the treatment is successful, that would mean that we might be able to use it in people with the beginning stages of dry age-related macular degeneration, when vision loss is not so severe, in order to slow the loss of RPE and photoreceptor cells," Dr. Yannek Leiderman, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration damages certain cells in the center of one’s retina and this results in blurriness, or blind spots that worsen as time progresses. There is currently no cure.

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