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MD Stem Cells Begins Intravitreal Stem Cell Treatments for Severe Visual Loss


2/15/2013 10:25:06 AM

February 15, 2013 -- While they have had significant success in facilitating visual improvement for patients with a number of eye diseases, MD Stem Cells is constantly searching for ways to improve patient outcomes. Increasing numbers of physicians and patients are now aware of the safe and successful application of Adult Stem Cells for improving vision in patients with retinal and optic nerve disease. MD Stem Cells pioneered the combination of retrobubar and subtenons injections to achieve more rapid and impressive visual improvements. Now they are able to offer Intravitreal injections of stem cells for patients with greater degrees of visual loss.

MD Stem Cells notes that Bone Marrow Derived Adult Stem Cells (BMSC) also known as Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSC) have been used for several years in patients for various diseases including those affecting the eye. Injections provided in the retrobulbar space –within the orbit and behind the eye- have provided positive effects in a number of eye disorders. These have included Macular Degeneration both wet and dry, Myopic Macular Degeneration, certain hereditary retinopathies, glaucoma and other optic nerve disease and injuries. The addition of subtenons injections- immediately adjacent to the globe of the eye and developed in collaboration with MD Stem Cells- has continued to improve these visual outcomes with more rapid and stronger responses.

The retina has ten distinct layers and is about 500 microns or half a millimeter thick- about 2/100th of an inch. It is generally divided into two main regions. There is a deeper sensory layer whose main components are the photoreceptors that actually sense the light supported by the RPE or retinal pigment epithelium. Above this sensory tissue is a layer called the neural retina made up of several different layers of nerve cells including the top one called the Nerve Fiber Layer or NFL. This final layer actually extends axons to the back of the eye which forms the optic nerve that transmits visual information to the brain.

“The literature speaks of the safety and success of Intravitreal stem cells both in pre-clinical and clinical models” indicates Dr. Levy, President of MD Stem Cells. “We carefully evaluated these reports with our retinal surgeon. We were hopeful he could offer stem cells and their accompanying growth factors directly within the eye to augment the treatment of the deeper sensory layer such as in Macular Degeneration and to place them adjacent to the Nerve Fiber Layer to help optic nerve damage. After careful review our retinal surgeon elected to move forward with Intravitreal stem cells for select patients.”

Retinal surgeons routinely inject anti-VEGF drugs such as Avastin, Lucentis and Eylea into the intravitreal space for wet macular degeneration and other vascular eye diseases. These are often done multiple times on a monthly or every other monthly basis and tens of thousands of these injections are done every year safely and with enormous visual benefit.

“We are now able to offer Intravitreal Stem Cells in addition to retrobulbar and subtenons injections. After patient examination and at his discretion, our retinal surgeon may provide Intravitreal stem cells in one eye if that eye has less than or equal to 20/200 (6/60 metric) best corrected visual acuity- legally blind” explained Dr. Levy. “We expect this new Intravitreal addition to help improve visual outcomes of both retinal and optic nerve disease particularly in eyes with very poor vision.”

MD Stem Cells is a trusted source of the latest information regarding clinically available adult stem cell treatments, coordinates patient referrals and manages the treatment process for patients and providers. If you or a family member has eye disease or another chronic neurologic or medical condition get the facts about improvements that can be provided by the right team of doctors. Email Dr. Levy at stevenlevy@mdstemcells.com or visit our website: www.mdstemcells.com Follow us on Twitter: @mdstemcells.com



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