US Scientists Restore Vision in Blind Rats

US Scientists Restore Vision in Blind Rats

Thursday, 8 November, 2018 - 07:30
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
US scientists have found that neural cells located in the vision centers in the brains of blind rats, resumed their functions normally after the transplant of fetal retina cells that led to vision restoration.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, who published their study in the Journal of Neuroscience, indicated that the resumed function of neural cells led to vision restoration.

David Lyon, associate professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology at the UCI School of Medicine, and the study lead author, said that his team observed detailed responses from the visual cortex generated after the retinal sheet transplants in rats suffering from severe macular degeneration.

The retinal sheet derived from the transplanted fetal cells tightened and integrated with the retina, and managed to generate a visual activity in the brains of the blind rats.

According to Lyon, it's been known so far that the integration of transplanted sheets with the retina allows light detection, but, what wasn't known is that the vision centers in the brain resume their function due to this integration.

Lyon said the study showed that the resumed function of the blind rats' neural cells was similar to that of normal rats, and that these findings may help in treating macular degeneration in humans.

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