Eyesight is unquestionably our most essential sense; we rely on to steer through our environment with comfort. Even the thought of losing the vision can have a tremendous influence on anyone’s life. There are many complex eye disorders which are responsible for blindness and are challenging to treat too. Researchers are continually exploring new fields and treatment processes to save the sense of vision. Stem cell technology is one such new approach for attending loss of vision.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are the individual body’s master cells, which sustain the capability to develop/grow into any of the body’s more than 200 cell types.
Each stem cells are unspecialized (undifferentiated) cells which are characteristic of the exact same family kind (lineage). They maintain the capability to divide throughout life and give rise to cells which may grow to be highly specialized and replace the area of cells which die or are missing.
Stem cells bring about the human body’s capacity to revive and repair its tissues or cells. Unlike mature cells, which are permanently dependent on their destiny, stem cells can renew themselves and also produce fresh cells of whatever cells/tissues that they belong to (and other cells /tissues).
Human eyes operate with specialized cells to serve the particular function of focusing the light and turning it into signals for the brain. These specialized cells are continually replaced by the stem cells as they become worn out or damaged with time. In the medical field, it is also known as Neuronal Degeneration.
Such neuronal degeneration is the reason we have debilitated visual impairment associated with prevalent ocular diseases including Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Glaucoma, and Retinal Detachment.
How Does Stem Cell Technology Work?
Neural stem cells offer an effective method to restore vision in patients who suffer from chronic eye diseases and also cures the problems we discussed above.
How it does so? The answer is by rescuing retinal neurons from further degeneration or by repopulating the damaged retina.
Stem cell therapies are widely explored as a possible treatment for degenerative eye diseases including replacement of lost neurons, and restoring of neural circuits. In fact, according to latest pieces of evidence, it can also be used for paracrine-mediated therapies under which the compromised endogenous retinal neurons can be protected with stem cell-derived trophic factor. It can also induce growth of new connections.
Some medical therapies such as Bone Marrow transplantation are already extracting the best out of the technology of stem cells for regenerating the damaged tissues. The potential of restoring and repairing damaged tissue makes stem cells, an exciting area to tap on in the medical field. Though not all the chronic problems of eyes can be solved with stem cells, yet there is enough evidence to prove the viability of its treatment to prevent and cure loss of vision.