MD Stem Cells Shows Retinal Eye Disease Responds to Stem Cells with Significant Vision Improvement

Blinding retinal eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa seen to make major gains in visual acuity following adult stem cell therapy in the United States.

Ridgefield, CT, June 20, 2013 --( Losing your vision slowly but progressively is one the most frightening things anyone can experience. Knowing that a disease will relentlessly rob you of your sight and there is nothing conventional medicine can do about it is a horrible weight on any person. Progressive loss of vision is what millions of people around the world experience in the prime of their lives from eye disease including macular degeneration, hereditary retinopathies, glaucoma and optic nerve damage. MD Stem Cells has been successfully addressing a number of eye diseases with adult stem cells including age related macular degeneration where visual improvements have been independently confirmed

Retinitis Pigmentosa, abbreviated as RP, is one of the more commonly inherited retinal diseases. The disease typically begins in the teens or early 20’s depending on the gene that has been inherited. Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa include night blindness or nyctolopia defined as difficulty seeing in the dark or dim light. Often there is a ‘ring scotoma’ or ring shaped visual defect where objects will disappear and come back as the eye moves around. As time goes on patients may progress to legal blindness and then potentially to near total blindness.

Before the availability of adult stem cell treatment progressive vision loss was assumed to be inevitable. MD Stem Cells is pleased to report on the exciting visual improvements in 2 patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa treated with BMSC or bone marrow derived adult stem cells.

The Snellen Eye Chart defines vision by comparing the top number of a normal eye to the bottom number of the patient - the larger the bottom number, the poorer the vision. Both patients had experienced severe visual loss as a result of their disease. Pre-treatment Patient FV was Count Fingers at 3 feet in both eyes or in Snellen Acuity 20/2666 (decimal .007). Patient JM was Hand Motion or what would be considered about Snellen Acuity 20/20,000 (decimal .001) in the right eye and 20/60 (.3) in the left.

Following treatment the post-op exam of Patient FV recorded improvement to 20/400 (.05) in both eyes . Post-op exam of Patient JM recorded the right eye improving to 20/200 ( .1) Pinhole (an approximation to having glasses) to 20/80 (.25). The left eye improved from 20/60 (.3) to 20/40 (.5).

“This represents an improvement in decimal vision from .007 to 5%, from .001 to 25% and from 30 to 50% of normal visual acuity- all remarkable results," indicated Dr. Levy. "In the worse eye, one might think of this as up to a 250 times multiple of visual function over this patient’s baseline vision.”

Dr. Levy remarked, "We are very pleased with the visual improvement. The normal course of this retinal disease is progression leading to ever worsening vision. With the stem cell treatment a reversal has been seen."

MD Stem Cells attributes this success to 3 key approaches: First, bone marrow stem cells are used. Previous reports have indicated that the stem cells found in a person’s own bone marrow are similarly pluripotent as embryonic stem cells, Second, the bone marrow harvest technique being used can provide billions of cells for the treatment Third, the retinal surgeon is placing the stem cells in several places around the retina including retrobulbar, subtenons, intravitreal and intravenous In this way the stem cells have the best opportunity to improve vision.

How can a hereditary or genetic condition respond to a patient’s own stem cells? Dr. Levy opines: "We are born with all our genes present but abnormal protein production or environmental factors perhaps require years to cause disease. Stem cells may be resetting the clock. The stem cell treatment may be regarded as a cellular tissue transfer from an area of high stem cell activity to a damaged area of the body. Stem cell effects likely manifest in their original location and resume in the damaged tissue to which they are transferred."

“What is most important is that our patients are thrilled with their improved ability to function in their day to day activities,” remarked Dr. Levy, “When they tell us that they have not seen this well for many, many years, it’s just heartwarming. The best improvement possible in visual function is what we are constantly striving for.”

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MD Stem Cells
Steven Levy MD