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New Stem Cell Treatment Gives Blind Ability To Read

Issued: 2018-03-20

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CBS Local — A revolutionary new stem cell treatment is giving doctors hope of developing a cure for blindness within the next five years. The experimental therapy has reportedly given two patients, who were both losing their sight, the ability to read again.

Doctors in London say they have successfully treated two people who were suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that can destroy a person’s vision center in multiple ways. “In the months before the operation my sight was really poor and I couldn’t see anything out of my right eye,” 86-year-old Douglas Waters told the BBC. “I can now read the newspaper.”

Waters and a woman in her early 60’s were both part of the experimental treatment created by the London Project to Cure Blindness. According to their report, published in Nature Biotechnology, the procedure involved implanting a “patch” of stem cells over the damaged areas of each patient’s eyes. The stem cells worked to repair the leakage of blood vessels around the retina, which is known as the “wet” version of AMD.

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