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How Cord Blood Stem Cells Could Help Your Child Recover Her Vision

How Cord Blood Stem Cells Could Help Your Child Recover Her Vision

How Cord Blood Stem Cells Could Help Your Child Recover Her Vision

How Cord Blood Stem Cells Could Help Your Child Recover Her Vision

Over the past several years, the science of stem cell research - and the subsequent ground-breaking therapies - has revolutionized the medical profession. As we’ve discussed in detail, curing blood diseases has proven to be one of the most exciting breakthroughs of this exciting technology. But did you know that scientists are now looking into how stem cell therapies may soon be developed for treating macular degeneration and other ocular problems?

Medical researchers are actively conducting stem cell trials to understand how stem cells,which can be harvested from umbilical cord blood, can be used to treat and restore the eyesight to countless patients suffering from vision disorders.

One such area of research is for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is the most common reason for blindness after the age of 65. On a global scale, it affects between 30 to 50 million people. With age-related macular degeneration, the photoreceptors (also called rods and cones) and a layer of cells called retinal pigment epithelium, begin to degenerate. Since these two elements are responsible for creating central vision, it means the patient effectively loses the ability to read and recognize people.

While there are some effective therapies to treat “wet” AMD, which accounts for 15% of all AMD cases, “dry” AMD has no viable treatment and is a progressive disease which permanently affects central vision. Several stem cells therapies are exploring ways to replace the dying photoreceptors and RPE cells prevalent in dry AMD.

Stem cell research has had immense success with Corneal Regeneration Therapies. Stem cell-based applications have shown great promise in restoring the functions to all corneal layers. In fact, the first approved application of stem cells for ocular therapy (approved by the European Union) is for treating the cornea. The therapy uses cultured limbal epithelial cells for transplant to treat limbal stem cell deficiency and is extremely valuable to patients with damaged corneas.

In addition to these treatments,the medical community is also conducting trials for developing transplantable products or therapies for eye disorders such as corneal disease, cataract, glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa. The next decade should see a whole host of stem cell treatments for eye ailments.

How does umbilical cord blood banking figure into this research? Stem cells are usually harvested and grown from bone marrow. Compared to this source, stem cells extracted from cord blood have several advantages: ease of collection, low risk of transmission of infections and perhaps most importantly, reduced chance of rejection.

By banking your baby’s cord blood today, decades down the line your child could potentially use her cord blood to fight off a whole range of eye diseases. Additionally, ocular treatment is just one of the many areas of stem cell research. There are already over 80 diseases which can be treated effectively with cord blood and clinical trials are ongoing for at least 30 more.

Imagine the possibilities a decade or two in the future!

There is only one chance to bank your child’s cord blood and that is on your delivery day. We recommend that you take some time out to explore and understand the details of this breakthrough science. Contact us now for our free, no-obligation information kit.

 

Sources :

https://www.eurostemcell.org/eye-and-stem-cells-path-treating-blindness

https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/pdf/S1934-5909(18)30231-5.pdf

 

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