Optic Neuropathy is damage to the optic nerve. Damage to the optic nerve causes cell death to neurons and results in an interruption of communication from the eye to the brain. This is characterized by loss of color vision and/or loss of total vision.
Optic Neuropathy can be caused by a trauma, Diabetic Retinopathy, MS, Stroke, tumor, Glaucoma, or even hypertension.
There is no cure for optic neuropathy and most causes do not have any conventional treatments.
Stem cell research for optic neuropathy is focusing on trying to repair or regenerate the optic nerve and thus improve electrical communication to the brain improving eyesight.
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The most current research regarding stem cells and Optic Neuropathy is given below:
Human umbilical cord blood stem cells and brain-derived neurotrophic factor for optic nerve injury: a biomechanical evaluation.
Zhang ZJ, Li YJ, Liu XG, Huang FX, Liu TJ, Jiang DM, Lv XM, Luo M.
Abstract: Treatment for optic nerve injury by brain-derived neurotrophic factor or the transplantation of human umbilical cord blood stem cells has gained progress, but analysis by biomechanical indicators is rare. Rabbit models of optic nerve injury were established by a clamp. At 7 days after injury, the vitreous body received a one-time injection of 50 μg brain-derived neurotrophic factor or 1 × 10(6) human umbilical cord blood stem cells. After 30 days, the maximum load, maximum stress, maximum strain, elastic limit load, elastic limit stress, and elastic limit strain had clearly improved in rabbit models of optical nerve injury after treatment with brain-derived neurotrophic factor or human umbilical cord blood stem cells. The damage to the ultrastructure of the optic nerve had also been reduced. These findings suggest that human umbilical cord blood stem cells and brain-derived neurotrophic factor effectively repair the injured optical nerve, improve biomechanical properties, and contribute to the recovery after injury.
Cell Replacement Therapy for Optic Nerve Disorders
Ravi Kant Upadhyay
Abstract: This review article explains major optic nerve disorders and cell replacement therapy. This article also signifies new innovative methods, biopharmaceuticals, implantable biomaterials, devices and diagnostic tools developed for restoration of vision. It asserts notable technological advancements made for regeneration of neurons and restoration of visual system network. However, for finding quick solutions of optical- neuronal disorders more advanced biomaterial cell scaffolds and concurrent efforts are needed to revitalize visual-neural receptor system. This article stresses upon novel bioengineered methods mainly required to activate endogenous stem and progenitor cells, which could reawaken cells in dormancy, instructing them to promote repair and regeneration in optic nerve cells and retina. For better management of optic nerve disorders, the important role of tissues, genes, growth factors and proteins, nanomedicine and nanotechnology, and all underlying mechanisms should fully be investigated. This article tries to explore all possibilities to find quick solutions for treatment of loss of vision/ photoreceptors and degeneration of optic neural network despite all ongoing challenges. Moreover, for solving visual disorders, neurodegenerative blinding diseases novel cell-based therapeutic strategies are to be developed with future applications in regenerative medicine.