Our eyes are the window to this world. A blurred vision can be traumatizing emotionally and mentally. This can be attributed to several reasons including damage in retina. The retina is the portion of the eye responsible for sensing light and transmitting the information to the brain. In a rare hereditary condition, the macular region of the eye is impaired. It is one of the genetic causes of macular degeneration and is usually manifested during childhood. It progresses rapidly leading to a sharp decline in the central vision field from 20/20 to 20/200.
Do you have any of the following symptoms:
- Sensitivity to bright light
- Color blindness
- Difficulty adjusting to light from dark
- Your vision looks like this?
If any of these symptoms are present, you may be having Stargardt’s disease and it is advisable to get diagnosed from an eye specialist for confirmation.
What happens in Stargardt’s disease?
Vitamin A is required by the eye for the production of the light-sensitive cells- rods and cones. During this process, some toxic byproducts of Vitamin A are produced which are normally cleared away in a healthy eye. In absence of this clearing mechanism, these byproducts accumulate and blur out the vision. This will eventually lead to the death of the photoreceptors in the eye. Currently, the only treatments include visual aids and wearing dark glasses in bright light. Further, it is recommended to avoid Vitamin A supplements beyond the required range. It is a genetic disorder but recessive in nature. This means even if your parents do not have the gene, you may develop this condition.
How can stem cells be helpful?
Stem cells are the body’s own reparative cells. They are present in the body niches and get activated upon any injury to regenerate the damaged or injured cells of the body. In the case of a major dysfunction, stem cells are not sufficient to repair this damage. Stem cell therapy ensures that your body’s stem cells are isolated in concentrated amounts to be delivered at the specific body site in higher doses. Once injected, these cells will differentiate into specific tissues depending on the site. They also release therapeutic factors that can accelerate the healing process.
For Stargardt’s disease, stem cells will form rods and cones thus enabling restoration of the vision. Stem cell therapy has been shown to prevent further progression of the disease and also aid in the restoration of the central field of vision. Patients frequently visit Advancells have seen positive outcomes.
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