Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Developement of a 45 minutes breakthrough surgery to cure blindness.Defective retinal cells to be replaced by Human Embryonic Stem cells.

Preliminary clinical trials were carried out by doctors from Britain on 12 patients who were suffering from wet age related macular degeneration.The doctors said that due to the late stages of blindness,the chances of recovery was 25 percent.This treatment will be a blessing for those above 50 years Indians.

British doctors have worked in the developement of a 45 minutes breakthrough surgery for extracting cells from the human embryonic stem cells that is injected into the patient,s eyes to replace the defective retinal cells which causes the Age Related Macular Degeneration(ARMD).In Indians who are 50 years and above,this is the third leading cause of irreversible blindness.

Simultaneous test were carried out by doctors on pigs & rats and there sights were restored by 80 percent.In India one third of the people who are in the fifty or above have some level of visual loss due to age related macular degeneration.British doctors who were part of the london project to cure ARMD did carry out the initial human clinical trials on 12 patients at which the reports were encouraging.

There was a 25 percent recovery in late stage blindness due to wet ARMD,three patients with dry ARMD were operated upon recently, the results were supposed to be released in the middle of December 2007.Professor Pete Coffey the project director recently visited India for a tie-up and a joint venture project with Indian Opthalmologists for conducting large scale clinical trials from 2009.

Professor Pete Coffey told news reporters that in human trials Indians who did not have a current therapy,this breakthrough would be a blessing for them.Vision was partially restored with the help of useing healthy stem cells.In some of the clinical trial cases transplants were completed with higher success rate that patients could read,and use a computer too.

We will be making it into a 45 minutes out patient operation by the year 2011,as a cataract surgery in a decade it will also be as a common place.Surgery conducted on a larger scale is unlikely to be suitable due to its extreme complex situation and time consumption.It would be suitable for use by millions of people in which the patient would not just be able to go home on the same day,but there would be an improvement in the vision within two weeks time.

Hence Professor Coffey,s team is developing a readymade polymer patch of cells,that could very well simply the operations.As India is not in favour of useing embryonic stem cells in treatment, the Indian participants on this project is having a hitch.As per the Indian rules embryonic stem cells can only be used for research purposes as they are supposed to be in the restricted category.

In India age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is very common.Many Indians have reported mutation of a gene called CFH which causes ARMD,as people in India smoke a lot of tabacco which brings in high risk factor for ARMD.Mr Coffey further said that he expects India to open up the legislation against embryonic stem cells and join the project.