HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stem Cell Breakthrough for Blindness

Daily Kos' Darksyde links to an article in the Times Online reporting on a terrific advance in stem cell research.  The website provides,

Times Online is reporting that a British research team has developed a promising treatment for the most common causes of blindness using embryonic stem cells:

The treatment will tackle age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness. It affects more than 500,000 Britons and the number is forecast to increase significantly as people live longer.

There’s roughly a 50/50 chance that anyone who lives to age one-hundred will develop AMD to some extent. Some will be blind as a bat long before reaching the century mark. With early diagnosis and aggressive treatment using newer drugs, the onset of advanced AMD can often be delayed or halted. Some of those drugs cost thousands of dollars a dose and they have to be taken regularly for life. Can’t say how that might work in the UK, but here in the US it means the eyesight of millions of baby boomers will be tossed into the vicious snapping jaws of our profit-obsessed health insurance industry. . . .

The website provides further interesting information about this research and the response it has received.

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