November 6, 2014 – Improved Vision?
Anchor lead: Does implanting stem cells help people with macular degeneration? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Stem cells implanted directly into the eye of people with macular degeneration appeared to result in improvements in vision, a recent study published in the Lancet reported. Neil Bressler, a macular degeneration expert at Johns Hopkins, says the results must be viewed with a bit of skepticism.
Bressler: The main concern is that there was excitement due to claims of improvement in vision. The patients who were enrolled had vision that was legal blindness if that’s your seeing eye to as low as hand motion. That’s fine, you want to test these new therapies that have potential danger in eyes that have very little vision. The problem is they claim some of the eyes had improvement of 15 or more letters. That amount of change in just a few eyes could be due to just repeating the measurement alone. :32
That said, Bressler is in favor of expanding on the technique and studying it further. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.