Hope for blind as embryonic stem cell test given go-ahead in UK

A UK hospital has been given green signal to carry out a landmark trial, the first in Europe, using human embryonic stem cells, a breakthrough that will give hope to the blind and partially-sighted.

Surgeons at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London will inject cells into the eyes of 12 patients with an incurable inherited eye condition, Stargardt’s macular dystrophy, within weeks.

The disease, which affects around one in 10,000, causes gradual loss of central vision.

“There is real potential that people with disorders including Stargardt disease and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)might benefit,” the Daily Express quoted Professor James Bainbridge, who will be conducting the trials, as saying.

“The ability to regenerate retinal cells from stem cells has been a significant advance and the opportunity to help translate such technology into new treatments is hugely exciting,” he added.

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