At Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, we are committed to providing you exceptional eye care services. This is why we make sure to stay updated on the latest news, studies and technologies in the visual health field. Currently, stem cell therapy as a vision correction option has been gaining popularity. In this article, your expert eye doctor discusses things you should know about this method.
Stem Cells: What Are They?
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can undergo indefinite cell division and differentiation, allowing them to self-renew and transform into specialized cell types. They are generally classified into two types: adult and embryonic. The former, also known as somatic cells, can continuously self-renew, allowing them to create various cells to form an organ. The latter, on the other hand, are usually derived from a developing embryo in its blastocyst phase. Its inner cell mass will eventually create different body organs while its outer cell mass forms the placenta.
How Stem Cell Therapy Works
Studies show that stem cell therapies often use extracted embryonic stem cells. When their inner cell masses are isolated and cultured in a nutrient-rich broth, they lose their stimulation to differentiate. As a result, they start dividing and replicating without transforming into a certain tissue or organ.
That said, stem cells maintain their ability to assimilate into any human body cell type, which means they can be stimulated later on to generate specialized cells. While these research findings are promising for the development of vision restoration efforts, there is no FDA-approved stem cell therapy for eye disease management yet.
Vision Restoration Through Stem Cell Therapy
Presently, there are countless studies evaluating how stem cells can help restore vision. With the advances in technology, it may be possible to reverse age-related macular degeneration by using stem cells to regenerate your macula and reestablish your choroidal circulation. Research also shows that stem cells may be used to grow physiological lenses, which is a great adjunct therapy to cataract laser eye surgery removal procedures.
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