Cell Replacement Could Restore Vision Lost to Neurodegeneration
Scientists have demonstrated the capacity to grow specialized neurons that relay visual data to the brain, creating a source of cells for future treatments of glaucoma and other optic neurodegenerative diseases. Using retinal (eye) tissue grown in the lab from mouse stem cells, scientists documented generation of a variety of neurons known as retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Individual RGC subtypes can be identified, and harvested RGCs have been used in transplantation experiments that study the effect of specific RGCs toward neuroprotection and vision restoration. Prior research has shown that different types of RGCs transmit different types of information through the optic nerve to the brain.
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