Durham: Medical researchers in the US are investigating the use of stem cells for eye diseases. Early findings at Duke University indicate that stem cells may benefit those suffering from glaucoma, macular degeneration and the effects of diabetes.
Ophthalmology researcher Dennis Rickman said the cells migrate to the site of injury and integrate into the tissue of those cells. Although research is at an arly stage and a lot more work needs to be done before th potential of the cells is untapped.
Studies have taken place on mice and rats, using rodent stem cells. But more tests are needed to prove effacacy, including measurement of their responses to light using an electroretinagram.
Rickman has established a charity, SCIEyes to develop alternative sources of funding. SCIfEyes received $10,000 last November from “Saturday Night Live” comedian Will Forte, who is its national spokesman, during Forte’s visit to Duke.
Building a base for the long term and for the next generation of researchers, is another priority for SCIfEyes, said Dennis Rickman, 54.