Commentary - Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology (2022) Ocular infections: Immunology, Pathogenesis and Interventions
Role of stem cells in cataract therapy.
Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States
- Corresponding Author:
- Dr. George Elloite
Department of Ophthalmology
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: 07-Feb-2022, Manuscript No. AACOVS-22-57989; Editor assigned: 10-Feb-2022, PreQC No. AACOVS-22-57989(PQ); Reviewed: 24-Feb-2022, QC No AACOVS-22-57989; Revised: 28-Feb-2022, Manuscript No. AACOVS-22-57989(R); Published: 07-Mar-2022, DOI: 10.35841/aacovs.22.6.527-528.
Citation: Elloite G. Role of stem cells in cataract therapy. J Clin Ophthalmol. 2022;6(S7):527-528.
Cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye that can lead to vision loss. Cataracts often develop slowly and affect one or both eyes. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurred or double vision, hollows around the light, difficulty with bright lights, and night vision. This can cause problems with driving, reading or recognizing faces. Impaired vision due to cataracts also increases the risk of falls and depression. Cataracts account for half and 38% of all cases of blindness worldwide. Eyesight is undoubtedly our most important sense; we rely on it to easily navigate our surroundings. Blindness has a tremendous influence on a person's life, but many of the conditions that cause it are difficult or impossible to treat right now. Researchers are currently experimenting with stem cell technologies to see whether there are any new techniques to treating visual loss .
The lens of the eye is a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye. Cataracts begin when proteins in the eye form bulges that block the lens from sending clear images to the retina. The retina works by converting the light coming through the lens into signals. The most frequent type of cataract is nuclear sclerosis, which affects the core or 'nuclear' region of the lens. It is called the brunescent cataract because it finally solidifies or becomes 'sclerotic' due to freezing on the lens nucleus and the deposition of brown pigment inside the lens in its mature stages. Nearly 20 million people worldwide are blind due to cataracts. It causes about 5% of blindness in the United States and about 60% of blindness in Africa, Asia and South America. Cataract blindness affects 10 to 40 children per 100,000 in underdeveloped nations and 1 to 4 children per 100,000 in wealthy countries. Cataracts affect 68 percent of adults over the age of 80 in the United States. Furthermore, they are more prevalent in women and less prevalent in Hispanics and blacks. The good news for patients with cataracts, whether young or elderly, is that stem cell therapy can help them regain their vision .
Cataracts are caused by proteins that stick to each other and begin to cloud a small area in the lens. Over time, this bouquet will grow larger and affect your ability to see clearly. Several factors cause the protein in the eye to overlap:
• Diabetes, hypertension, and obesity
• Statin and corticosteroid medications
• Eye injury or eye surgery
• Congenital cataract
• Smoking and heavy drinking
Current treatment involves insertion of an artificial plastic lens into the eye; unfortunately, this can lead to inflammation and infections. Fortunately, progress research has led to a significant new treatment that can restore vision when congenital cataracts occur. Congenital cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in children, and with current treatment, many children need glasses even after surgery. Parents are especially excited to learn that the new reproductive therapy can restore their children’s eyes. Developed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Shelley Eye Institute in collaboration with medical professionals in China, this new cataract treatment has shown successful results, including less surgical complications and improved vision for patients who receive it. The goal of elemental research is to use the patient's stem cells to repair tissues and organs and to cure disease. Instead of using stem cells grown in the laboratory, the physician uses the patient's stem cells and reintroduces them to the patient to reduce the risk of pathogen transmission and immune rejection .
The stem cells in the human eye are called Lens Epithelial Stem Cells (LECs). Usually these cells produce replacement cells; however, this product slows down with age and causes degenerative cataracts in the aging population. Conventional treatment removes most of the LECs in the lens; unfortunately, with this treatment, the remaining cells show an unorganized growth and the patient's vision is impaired. The novel cataract treatment accelerates LEC growth and results in the formation of a new lens, giving the patient better eyesight than previously. In conclusion, standard surgery replaces the clouded lens with a synthetic plastic lens, whereas stem cell surgery stimulates new cell growth.
This breakthrough in stem cell surgery uses the body's ability to regenerate and expand to age-related cataract treatment. However, if cataracts are or are unavoidable, preventive measures can be taken to help reduce the damage from cataracts. Optometrists advise everyone to have regular comprehensive eye exams, although this is especially important for the elderly or patients over 40; by the age of 40, lens cells begin to slow down production.
Eye exams identify and diagnose problem areas and your family optometrist may recommend action to cure and care for your vision. Having a healthy lifestyle is also a preventative measure, as exercise and nutrition prevent the progression of disease, while promoting the body’s ability to heal and regenerate. We believe that the current stem cell technology suggests some predictions on cataract treatment; however it should be further studied for its safety and efficacy through clinical trials and used as a new method for cataract treatment.
- Stem cells may cure cataracts and restore sight in the future.2020.
- Maleki M. Stem cell therapy of cataract.Bioimpacts. 2015; 5(4): 165–167.
- Stem cell therapy replacing iols for cataract surgery.2021.