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Stem cell therapy restores vision

An exploratory stem cell therapy developed in the UK has successfully restored vision to eight partially sighted patients. (Times, FT)

The treatment, developed by scientists at the North East England Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle, UK, will now be further tested in a larger trial of 25 patients.

All eight of the patients who took part in the first trial of the treatment reported improved vision, reduced eye pain and a better quality of life. Russell Turnbull, 38, was one of the participants. He lost most of the sight from his right eye in 1994 when he was sprayed in the face with ammonia while trying to break up a fight. The chemical burnt his cornea, leaving him with cloudy vision, pain on every blink and extreme sensitivity to light. His vision was restored after stem cells from his good eye were used to repair his damaged one.

“This has transformed my life,” Turnbull, told the Financial Times. “I’m working, I can go jet skiing and also ride horses,” he adds.


  1. Report this comment

    Nelly Alegre said:

    I’m glad to hear that stem cell treatment does work. My dad is partially sighted since a disease called optic neuropathy bilateral. I am doing some research to see how true is this treatment and see if he has the chance to gain his sight one more time. Who can I contact to so I can get more information?

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