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Corneal blindness patients receive stem cell transplant

Corneal diseases are the second leading cause of major blindness and at least 20 million people worldwide suffer from corneal disease. A team of Scottish researchers were recently able to transplant stem cells into the eyes of two corneal blindness patients and the doctors will know if the procedure is successful within a few months. Corneal epithelial stem cell transplantation was the procedure that was used and the stem cells were grown from deceased donors and then transplanted into the patient's cornea. Prior to transplantation, any scarred and damaged areas of the cornea were removed. If successful, this revolutionary new treatment could potentially restore the sight of many patients and improve their quality of life. The results of this study will provide additional opportunities to help patients and provide a greater understanding of corneal problems.

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