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Promising stem cell treatment in the works to treat AMD

With more than 15 million Americans affected by macular degeneration, researchers are fervently looking for an effective treatment to slow or reverse the damage done by the dry form of macular degeneration. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai are hoping that the progress they are making in stem cell research will provide AMD patients with that treatment. The current study underway involved converting adult human skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells and then injecting these modified stem cells into rat test subjects. Researchers found that healthy cells began to form a protective layer around the retina and prevented further dgeneration of the retinal cells. The result was 130 days of preserved vision which translates into about 16 years in humans. Further lab testing is required and will involve testing the efficacy and the safety of the injections in animal test subjects before any human clinical trials will be able to conducted.

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