A have-a-go hero who was blinded in one eye in a chemical attack 15 years ago has miraculously got his sight back after undergoing pioneering stem cell treatment.
Russell Turnbull is one of eight patients with impaired vision who have been treated successfully with their own stem cells, in a technique developed by scientists and eye surgeons at the North East England Stem Cell Institute.
Mr Turnbull was hit in his right eye, causing massive damage to the cornea stem cells, leaving him with severely impaired vision, a condition known as Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency (LSCD) (…)
Russell was one of eight patients suffering from corneal cloudiness, or Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency, who took part in the project run by the North East England Stem Cell Institute.
A team of experts from Newcastle and Durham Universities and Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary developed the new treatment to restore sight by growing cells from the good eye to replace the damaged ones in the blind eye.
A tiny section of the stem cells measuring just 1mm square was taken into the lab and immersed into a sample of Russell’s blood mixed in a solution of glucose, insulin and hydrocortisone.
After two weeks the surface layers of his bad cornea were removed and replaced by the new sample which was stitched into place.
After another eight weeks the stem cells had grafted on to the cornea and his sight was restored.
The team’s success provides hope to millions of people around the world (…)
The new operation involves cutting away a millimetre squared section of his left eye complete with stem cells and growing it to 400 times that size in the laboratory.
The technique, developed by scientists and eye surgeons at the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI). has been used on eight patients and for most of them including Mr Turnbull it has almost completely restored their vision.
“The stem cell treatment option is aimed at total cure rather than symptom relief only. This new treatment will alleviate patient suffering and remove the need for long term multiple medications as well as returning the patient to functional and social independence.”
Dr Sajjad Ahmad, who developed the Newcastle method for culturing limbal stem cells, said “This study shows that stem cell research conducted in the laboratory can have a major impact on the quality of life of patients with corneal disease. This work has been a team effort involving stem cell researchers and hospital doctors working together effectively.”(…)
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2781629/Operation-restores-sight-in-eye-of-man-blinded-in-ammonia-attack.html , http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6865951/Pioneering-stem-cell-treatment-restores-sight.html , http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hsOYMtUOF5rKTqR60pfQ2_PuJ5zw