Could stem cell jab help elderly blind see again?

Elderly people who received treatment had their vision improved, study says Children who suffer from common form of blindness in young also benefited Some can now do things like read their watch and also work on a computer Expert said even small improvements are 'huge difference to quality of life' Critics say it's wrong to plunder unborn child for spare parts for science

By Fiona Macrae Science Correspondent

Published: 18:28 EST, 14 October 2014 | Updated: 02:30 EST, 15 October 2014

A revolutionary stem cell jab has restored the gift of sight, research suggests.

Men and women with severe age-related macular degeneration, the most common form of blindness in the elderly, are able to see better after having tens of thousands of embryonic stem cells injected into the back of their eye.

Children with Stargardts disease, the main cause of blindness in the young, have also benefited.

Researcher Robert Lanza said that one patient who underwent the trial even 'went to the mall for the first time' (file photo)

Some can now do things most of us take for granted like reading their watch or working on a computer. But one man is able to ride horses again and one of the patients has gone to a shopping mall for the first time.

Researcher Robert Lanza, a world-leading stem cell expert, said that even seemingly small improvements have made a huge difference to quality of life. Others described his work as a major accomplishment.

All of those who took part in the landmark trial had advanced eye disease and were blind in one eye. However, Dr Lanzas goal is to treat people early in the disease process to stop them from ever going blind.

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Could stem cell jab help elderly blind see again?

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