611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

NurseWise 24-Hour Crisis Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

NurseWise 24-Hr Crisis Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
E-Cigarettes Slowed Wound Healing in Animal Study3-Drug Therapy Might Be Cystic Fibrosis 'Breakthrough'Pounds Regained After Weight-Loss Op Can Tell Your Doc a LotCDC Warns of Polio-Like Virus Striking More U.S. KidsNew Nerve Stimulation Technique Might Relieve Back PainGluten-Free Craze a 'Double-Edged Sword' for Celiac PatientsHealth Tip: Know the Risks of Chicken PoxKids' Concussion Symptoms May Persist for a YearNew DNA-Based Test Approved to Help Verify Blood CompatibilityAHA: A Child's Eyes May Be a Window Into Later Heart Disease RiskGenes, Not Diet, May Be Key to Gout Flare-UpsDiabetes Drug Might Help Shield the Heart From Smog's Ill EffectsHealth Tip: Understanding MigrainesHospital Privacy Curtains May Be Home to Dangerous GermsWeight-Loss Surgery May Raise Gallstone Risk: StudyStudy Sees No Link Between Gout Drug, Kidney DiseaseHealth Tip: Prevent Mold Growth at HomeOne-Third of 'Gluten-Free' Restaurant Foods in U.S. Are Not: StudyHalf of Antibiotics Given Without Infection DiagnosisMediterranean Diet May Help Preserve Your Vision: StudyAHA: Researchers Suggest New Way to Possibly Eliminate Clogged ArteriesCan a 'Noah's Ark' of Microbes Save the World's Health?Brain Scans Suggest Pain of Fibromyalgia Isn't ImaginaryHealth Tip: Treat Your Child's AllergiesAHA: Doctors Could Do More to Help Smokers With Poor CirculationAcne's Stigma Can Take a Big Mental TollDoes Less-Invasive Surgery Make Sense for You?Type 2 Diabetes Tied to Raised Risk of Tumors, Cancer Deaths'Southern' Diet Blamed for Black Americans' Health WoesOne Football Rule Change Might Lower Concussion RiskDeep Space Travel May Damage GI Tract, Animal Study ShowsNew Drug Approved for Antibiotic-Resistant Lung DiseaseDrinking Enough Water Could Be Key to Avoiding UTIsThree New Genes Linked to Chronic Back Pain'Yo-Yo' Cardio Readings May Signal Heart RisksHealth Tip: Understanding Hip Replacement SurgeryCommon Heartburn Drugs Linked to Broken Hips in Dialysis PatientsWith 80,000 Flu Deaths Last Season, Experts Urge VaccinationHealth Tip: Manage Symptoms of AnemiaHealth Tip: Considering LASIK Surgery?Don't Turn a Blind Eye to Vision ProblemsExperimental Vaccine Shows Promise in Preventing TBAntibiotics May Cure Appendicitis -- No Operation NeededGun Victims More Likely to Die Than Other Trauma PatientsSpinal Implant Could Be Breakthrough for Paralyzed PatientsHealth Tip: Maintain Healthy Cholesterol5 Tips to Manage Your Child's AsthmaNew Compounds Might Help Stop Spread of MalariaAHA: Stiffening of Blood Vessels May Point to Dementia RiskContact Lenses May Harbor Serious, Blinding Infection
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Early Promise for Eye Implant to Fight Macular Degeneration

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 4th 2018

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, April 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new stem cell transplant might help preserve or even restore vision being lost to the dry form of age-related macular degeneration, a new pilot clinical trial has shown.

In the experimental therapy, a specially engineered sheet of stem cells is transplanted into the back wall of the eye to replace a layer of cells destroyed by age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Vision loss appeared to halt in four of the first five people treated with the implant cells, researchers reported in the April 4 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The fifth patient actually experienced some improvement in vision, and was able to read 17 additional letters off a standard eye chart, said lead researcher Dr. Amir Kashani. He is assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine.

"We didn't really anticipate or expect dramatic improvement in vision," Kashani said. "That was a very encouraging sign."

Two other patients displayed improvement in their ability to focus or fixate on a target better than before surgery, he added.

"They could guide their vision to look at a certain location," Kashani said. "That's one of the prerequisites for being able to read or look somebody in the face, or doing those high-acuity kinds of tasks, so that was also very encouraging."

There currently is no cure or treatment for the dry form of AMD, which accounts for 80 percent to 90 percent of all cases, he noted.

The retina -- the light-sensitive tissue along the back of the eye wall -- is slowly destroyed as a result of AMD. As light-sensing cells die off, people's vision becomes blurry and distorted, and they begin to lose their central vision.

Age-related macular degeneration currently affects approximately 1.7 million Americans, and is projected to affect almost 3 million by 2020. It's a leading cause of severe visual impairment in adults older than 65.

The dry form of AMD involves the loss of a thin layer of cells beneath the retina called retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, Kashani said.

"The function of the RPE cells is to support the overlying retina and its photo sensor cells," Kashani said. Without the nourishment provided by the RPE layer, the retina cannot function normally and begins to die off, permanently damaging vision.

To halt the advance of vision loss, Kashani and his team engineered in the lab a fresh sheet of RPE cells created from embryonic stem cells.

The researchers then implanted the new sheet of cells into the eyes of five patients with long-term dry AMD, in a stage I clinical trial that ultimately will include a total of 20 people.

There were no serious side effects or unanticipated problems in the transplant, Kashani said.

Patients required only a small amount of immune suppression to make sure the body didn't reject the implant. That's because the retina is considered an extension of the brain, and the immune system typically does not target the brain or its related structures, he explained.

"The body doesn't really mount immune responses as we understand them in those areas," Kashani said.

The researchers already are planning a larger series of trials, which they hope will get underway within the next couple of years.

Dr. Avnish Deobhakta is a retina surgeon at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City. "This type of technology is very exciting considering that it aims to replace the precise layer of cells that are progressively damaged in a form of macular degeneration that affects millions of people and is one of the major causes of irreversible blindness in the U.S.," he said.

"At present, we do not have any effective treatments for the dry form of macular degeneration that results in this sort of retinal atrophy, so this therapy has the potential to change the way we look at this disease and possibly give patients hope that at the very least we can stem the tide of disease progression," Deobhakta added.

More information

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more about macular degeneration.