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Jun 22, 2020

Recent Research Could Restore Vision by Converting Skin Cells into Photoreceptors

by: Bob Luthar

One of the most complex organs of the human anatomy is the eye. The eye controls the entire visual of an individual, with complex structures and components such as the retina. The retina is a complicated mix of cells and layers that help the eye focus and observe every detail in the field of eyesight.

Any infliction to the retina can result in severe outcomes, potentially leading to retinal diseases. Even the best medications currently like cell therapy can involve a lot of effort and time which the patients cannot give.

However, researchers at the North Texas Eye Research Institute looked into the matter and developed a fast and easier method to rebuild the damaged retina in eye diseases. The method involves a few chemicals that lead to the generation of cells which ultimately restore eyesight.
Stem cell therapy

Macular degeneration is a typical reason for loss of eyesight in individuals aged over 60. In this case, the cells which sense light in the retina, primarily known as photoreceptors, begin to deteriorate. Traditionally, doctors have opted for medications for the last surgery to fix this.
However, recently, researchers discovered stem cell therapy. This therapy is the method by which loss or degenerated cells are replaced with healthier cells. For the replenishment of these cells, researchers changed the type of specialized cells with the help of specific proteins known as “Yamanaka factors”.

“Reprogramming” of specialized cells

This is a big revolution in stem cell therapy. This method can “reprogram” or restore the generalization of specialized cells such as the heart and immune cells. Basic cells are called pluripotent stem cells. These cells possess the ability to further develop into several types of cells with the inclusion of photoreceptors that are lost in eye diseases.

However, there are rooms for improvements with the struggles in this method. The skin is usually a more typical origin for the “reprogramming” of cells. The usual time needed is 25 days for the conversion to stem cells. However, further conversion to photoreceptors might take 65-70 extra days, before they are ready to begin cell therapy….

Read more: https://healthwriteups.com/2020/06/19/recent-research-could-restore-vision-by-converting-skin-cells-into-photoreceptors/

Source: Health Write-Ups

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