Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy May Benefit from Stem Cell Eye Treatment

MD Stem Cells hopeful that SCOTS stem cell eye study will benefit blinding eye disease caused by damaged energy producing organelles of optic nerve.

Ridgefield, CT, December 18, 2013 --(PR.com)-- Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1174/ also known as Leber’s Optic Atrophy, can cause loss of vision suddenly and without warning. Young men are typically affected but it may strike children or middle aged adults. One eye is affected initially and within a short time the other may be as well- often leading to legal blindness. It is a unique genetic disease because the mitochondria or energy producing parts of the cells are affected. The mitochondria are inherited from the mother and actually have their own DNA separate from the rest of the cell. In LHON something triggers the sudden failure of the mitochondria to produce adequate energy or ATP for the nerve cells of the optic nerve.

Dr. Levy is President of MD Stem Cells and Study Director for the Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study -abbreviated SCOTS –being conducted in southeast Florida. “We’ve been involved in stem cell eye treatments for several years and are now managing SCOTS which is the largest clinical trial of stem cells in ophthalmology registered with the National Institutes of Health,” explains Dr. Levy. “We are focused on optic nerve and retinal disease and are particularly interested in recruiting patient with LHON. Pre-clinical evidence in a murine model has shown that Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells actually have the ability to transfer their mitochondria to damaged cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22504485

“We are hopeful patients with LHON may show visual benefit from the treatment protocols we are offering.”

Conditions potentially eligible for SCOTS include retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), myopic macular degeneration, hereditary retinopathies such as Retinitis Pigmentosa and Stargardts, as well as selected inflammatory, vascular and traumatic conditions. Optic nerve diseases considered eligible include glaucoma, ischemic optic neuropathy, optic atrophy, optic neuritis, LHON, NMO (Neuromyelitis Optica or Devic’s Syndrome ) and some trauma. SCOTS is focused on the ocular tissue that has sustained damage and its potential for improvement rather than a specific disease entity.

SCOTS is being conducted under an Institutional Review Board and is registered with the National Institutes of Health or NIH, listed on their website www.clinicaltrials.gov with Identifier NCT 01920867. Healthcare providers or patients interested in determining whether they may be candidates or healthcare providers may visit the website www.mdstemcells.com or reach Dr. Levy through Email: info@mdstemcells.com Telephone: 203-423-9494 office hours Eastern Time, USA.
MD Stem Cells
Steven Levy MD