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Stem Cells for Optic Nerve Atrophy

Stem cell therapy for Optic Nerve Atrophy:

Optic Atrophy arises from end stage of optic nerve damage due to various reasons anywhere along the path from the retina to the lateral geniculate. The degeneration of optic nerve, which occurs as an end result of any pathological process that damage axons in the optical nerve. There are two kinds of optic Nerve Atrophy:

  1. Primary optic atrophy – which is the degeneration of the nerve fibres without any complicating process within the eye. This is due to lesions proximal to the optic disc without antecedent papilloedema. Causes of primary optic atrophy include multiple sclerosis, retrobulbar neuritis, leber’s optic atrophies, intracranial tumours, trauma, toxic amblyopias. 
  2. Secondary Optic atrophy – which occurs following any pathological process which produces optic neuritis or papilloedema. This is also called as consecutive optic atrophy which is due to destruction of ganglion cells secondary to degenerative or inflammatory lesions of choroid/retina. Causes of secondary optic atrophy include diffuse chorioretinitis, retinitis pigmentosa, pathological myopia. 

Degeneration of optic nerve can be categorised into two parts:

  1. Ascending Optic Atrophy – the nerve fibre degeneration progress (ascends) from the eyeball towards the genicular body.
  2. Descending Optic Atrophy- Degeneration proceeds from the posterior portion of the optic nerve towards the optic disc.

Clinical features of optic nerve atrophy are loss of vision, the pupil will be semi dilated, sluggish or absent direct light reflex. There will also be pallor of disc, loss of visual field along with decreased number of small blood vessels.

Once the optic nerve is damaged because of any of the reasons, they do not regenerate or replace naturally. There are certain unmet needs to treat optic nerve damage is to target 1) protection of optic nerve, 2) regeneration of optic nerve and 3) enhancement of optic nerve.

Stem Cell Therapy for Optic nerve Atrophy helps in neuroprotection and cell replacement. Stem cells produces lot of survival factors. Just by putting stem cells into the site of injury they promote the regeneration process which eventually slow down or stop the regeneration process. 

Stem cells are isolated from patients own bone marrow, cultured and then transplanted back intravenously and retrobulbar injections. In some selective cases based on clinical examination intrathecal injection of stem cells to CSF (Cerebral spinal fluid) is also done.

NeuroCyte Stem cell Research Center provides one of the best Stem Cell Therapy for Optic Nerve Atrophy in Bangalore, India.

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