Singapore-Sweden scientists makes progress within eye degeneration-related blindness

A preclinical study using stem cells seems to result in significant vision recovery.

This finding, by Singapore-Sweden scientists at Duke-NUS Medical School, the Singapore Eye Research Institute and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, is the first step towards potentially restoring vision in eye diseases characterized by photoreceptor loss.

The degeneration of photoreceptors in the eye is a significant cause of declining vision that can eventually lead to blindness. Currently, there is no effective treatment for the disorder.

Photoreceptor degeneration occurs in a variety of inherited retinal diseases and age-related macular degeneration. It’s a leading cause of vision impairment worldwide.

“Our laboratory has developed a method that enables the production of photoreceptor progenitor cells resembling those in human embryos,” said Assistant Professor Tay Hwee Goon, first author of the study from Duke-NUS’ Centre for Vision Research.

“Transplantation of these cells into experimental models has generated partial restoration of the retinal function,” she added.

Moving forward, the team hopes to refine their method to make it simpler and achieve more consistent results.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

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