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Stem Cell Therapy for AMD Using Your Own Skin or Blood Cells
January 28, 2016

Stem Cell Therapy for AMD Using Your Own Skin or Blood Cells

The use of embryonic stem cells for AMD treatment is generating lots of interest from patients, doctors, and researchers at the same time generating concerns from these same groups ethically, politically and scientifically. Did you know that there are other ways to obtain or generate stem cells without the use of embryos?

Autologous Stem Cell Transplant

When a procedure uses one's own stem cells, it is called an autologous transplant. When another person's stem cells are given to the patient it is called an allogeneic transplant.

Often it is preferable to use a person's own stem cells rather than donor stem cells so that there are less complications or opportunities for cell rejection.

Interest in using stem cells to treat macular degeneration is increasing. One such study is looking at using a patient's own skin or blood cells to develop retinal pigment epithelial tissue. The patient's skin or blood cells would be reprogrammed to become what is called induced Pluripotent Stem cells (iPSC).

According to the National Institute of Health's article on Stem Cell Basics, "... tissues derived from iPSCs will be a nearly identical match to the cell donor and thus probably avoid rejection by the immune system. The iPSC strategy creates pluripotent stem cells that, together with studies of other types of pluripotent stem cells, will help researchers learn how to reprogram cells to repair damaged tissues in the human body."

Find out more about how stem cells are being researched to treat macular degeneration here:

Stem Cell therapy for Macular Degeneration 

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Better Health for Better Vision

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