Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Retina Transplants Show Promise In Patients With Retinal Degeneration

Date:
July 11, 2008
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Preliminary research shows encouraging results with transplantation of retinal cells in patients with blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, according to a new report. The new experimental technique yields improved vision in 7 of 10 patients.

Preliminary research shows encouraging results with transplantation of retinal cells in patients with blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new report.

Related Articles


In the FDA-monitored study, Dr. Norman D. Radtke of University of Louisville, Ky., lead author of the study and colleagues performed the experimental transplant procedure in ten patients with vision loss resulting from retinal degeneration: six patients with RP and four with the "dry" form of AMD. Although they have different causes, both RP and AMD lead to destruction of the light-receiving (photoreceptor) cells of the retina. There is currently no effective treatment for recovery of visual loss from either condition.

All patients underwent transplantation of fetal retinal cells. The cells were implanted along with their attached retinal pigment epithelium, which plays a key role in nourishing the photoreceptor cells. The concept behind the experimental procedure was that the new cells would grow to replace the damaged photoreceptor cells, connecting to the patient's remaining retina.

Follow-up testing showed visual improvements in seven of the ten patients: three of the patients with RP and all four patients with AMD. Although vision remained in the "legally blind" range for all patients, the gains in vision were significant and measurable.

"This clinical evidence shows the promise of our method to alter progressive vision loss due to incurable degenerative diseases of the retina," comments Dr. Radtke.

In one patient with RP, the visual improvement was still present up to six years after surgery, while vision in the opposite (untreated) eye continued to deteriorate. In the same patient, specialized tests showed a 27 percent increase in light sensitivity in the treated eye.

There were no problems with rejection of the transplants by the patients' immune systems, despite the lack of a perfect immunological match between the transplant donors and recipients. This likely reflected the special "immunologic protection" of tissues within the eye. Two patients also had improved vision in the untreated eyes. The reason for this unexpected result is unknown, but may involve some effect of transplantation on the immune system.

The experimental transplant procedure was designed on the basis of animal studies showing that transplantation of retinal cells can lead to the development of new retinal tissues. Previous "phase I" studies established the safety of the procedure. The new "phase II" trial provides the first evidence of improved vision--the first treatment of any type to restore lost vision in patients with RP or AMD.

Much further research will be needed to determine the potential for retinal transplantation to improve vision in patients with these diseases. "Retinal implants that combine retina and retinal pigment epithelium demonstrated an apparent ability to integrate with host retinas and to re-establish the visual pathways interrupted by disease," adds Dr. Radtke. "What we have learned will help us to refine this method and obtain further evidence that retinal implants may be a viable therapy for retinal degenerative disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Radtke ND, Aramant RB, Petry HM, et al. Vision Improvement in Retinal Degeneration Patients by Implantation of Retina Together with Retinal Pigment Epithelium. American Journal of Ophthalmology, 2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajo.2008.04.009

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Retina Transplants Show Promise In Patients With Retinal Degeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710103851.htm>.
Elsevier. (2008, July 11). Retina Transplants Show Promise In Patients With Retinal Degeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710103851.htm
Elsevier. "Retina Transplants Show Promise In Patients With Retinal Degeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710103851.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins