Glaucoma causes blindness. It can’t be reversed with any treatment. Some studies have looked at replacing retinal cells with transplants, but this is still in the research and development stage. Now, a team of researchers has identified a promising new strategy for glaucoma cell replacement therapy. They changed the eye’s environment to turn stem cells from blood into retinal ganglion cells. They found that certain signaling molecules can guide these new cells to the right positions in the retina. This method represents a promising approach to restoring vision in glaucoma patients. The study was funded by several National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, as well as grants from the Bright Focus Foundation and Gilbert Family Foundation. The University of Washington has a patent incorporating the endogenous reprogramming technology described in this report.
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