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Study shows transplant can restore vision in night blindness

Researchers at the University College London successfully restored partial sight in mice with night blindness. 200,000 rod cells were transplanted into mice who did not have rods. Within 4 to 6 weeks of the transplants, some of the cells had formed nerve connections and the mice were able to navigate a maze in low lighting. Results of the study were published in the journal Nature. The study involved taking immature versions of nerve cells known as rod-photoreceptors from the eyes of healthy newborn mice and injecting them into mice that were unable to see in the dark. Researchers caution that human clinical trials would most likely not be started for another 5 to 10 years. This groundbreaking research offers hope of possible future treatments for macular degeneration.¬† A loss of both rods and cones causes macular degeneration so researchers would need to determine whether sight can be restored by transplanting cone cells.  

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