Optic Nerve Atrophy Stem Cell Therapy

Introduction – Optic Nerve Atrophy

Optic nerve is an important component of the eye ball. It plays an important part in physiology of vision. It can undergo atrophy due to various reasons. The atrophy refers to the wasting of the nerve fibre. The reasons of atrophy may be due to loss of blood supply, infections, trauma, toxins like methanol or as a consequence of other disease processes etc. Common signs and symptoms are gradual dimness of vision, loss of colour vision etc. It may ultimately lead to blindness. There is no effective treatment modality available for optic nerve atrophy. There is no cure from the disease. Treatment is only symptomatic and supportive.

Treatment – Optic Nerve Atrophy

Stem cell therapy is fast emerging modality for various chronic degenerative diseases. Ability of stem cells to repair damaged tissue and regenerate lost cells makes stem cell therapy an attractive treatment options. Stem cell therapy has been evaluated in optic nerve atrophy and initial results are encouraging.

Stem cell therapy appears to be a powerful therapy for the patients with optic nerve atrophy.
Stem cells are collected from bone marrow of the patient or from umbilical cord blood of babies. These are immature cells with the potential to turn into desired cells. Thereafter they are cultured and harvested in the laboratory. Later they are introduced into the body of the patient. They are usually introduced through the veins or at the site of the disease. From the site of administration they migrate to the region of damaged tissue. Stem cells can also be administered directly behind the eyeball. Stem cells thereafter differentiate and regenerate the damaged nerve fibres. As a result improvement takes place in the condition of the patients. The vision of the patients may improve. The patients may identify colours more efficiently. Stem cell therapy appears to be a powerful therapy for the patients with optic nerve atrophy. Some studies have shown initial success. However, long term efficacy and safety of the stem cell therapy in optic atrophy remains to be seen in larger studies before reaching any conclusions.

- Link of interest: Twitter Optic Nerve Atrophy – Stem Cell Therapy.

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

 

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