Retinal cell transplant shows promise
Preliminary results have shown that an improvement in vision is possible in select patients undergoing experimental retinal cell transplantation. In a study reported in this month’s American Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers found measurable improvement in vision in 70% of patients having a retinal transplant for either age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Researchers were successfully able to implant fetal retinal cells into patients and show that measurable vision improvement can be sustained for up to 5 years. While this technology is still far from being available to help patients in a clinical setting, the early results are extremely encouraging.