6. Stem cells injection could ward off glaucoma
. An infusion of stem cells harvested from a patient’s own skin could help restore proper drainage for fluid-clogged eyes at risk of glaucoma, a study says. When fluid accumulates in the eye, the increase in pressure could lead to glaucoma.
The disease damages the optic nerve and can result in blindness. The researchers injected stem cells into the eyes of mice with glaucoma. The influx of cells regenerated the tiny, delicate patch of tissue known as the trabecular meshwork, which serves as a drain for the eyes to avoid fluid buildup. “We believe that replacement of damaged or lost trabecular meshwork cells with healthy cells can lead to functional restoration following transplantation into glaucoma eyes,” said lead researcher Markus Kuehn from University of Iowa in the US. One potential advantage of the approach is that the type of stem cells used – called induced pluripotent stem cells – could be created from cells harvested from a patient’s own skin