New blindness-preventing research "is exciting"

New blindness-preventing research "is exciting"

New research that may lead to treatments which cure or prevent blindness is "exciting" news, according to one researcher.

Dr Budd Tucker, who is currently an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, said a new study he was involved in could hold "great promise" for future treatments through regenerating skin stem cells, which can help to repair the corneas.

The process could lead to treatments and cures for diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and diabetic retinopathy, he claimed.

"While other researchers have been successful in converting skin cells … into retinal neurons, we believe that this is the first time that this degree of retinal reconstruction and restoration of visual function has been detected," Dr Tucker stated.

Meanwhile, new studies into the development of retinopathy of prematurity and how it can be stopped or slowed at Queen"s University, Belfast, have the potential to change the lives of thousands of children, researchers have claimed.

by Adrian Galbreth

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