Breakthrough treatment: optic atrophy student gets back vision
A Chennai-based hospital claims to have created medical history by employing stem cell therapy to bring back a 22-year old patient of optical atrophy from complete blindness to more than 90% vision.kolkata Updated: Mar 15, 2011 21:00 IST
A Chennai-based hospital claims to have created medical history by employing stem cell therapy to bring back a 22-year old patient of optical atrophy from complete blindness to more than 90% vision.
Optic atrophy is an incurable disease of blindness damaging optic nerves severely.
“The patient’s MRI showed his optic nerves were badly damaged. I injected two units of stem cells collected from his bone marrow three weeks ago. It gave positive results and fast. Gradually his vision was restored,” Himanshu Bansal, a Nainital-based researcher in stem cell therapy told HT from Chennai on Tuesday.
“I injected 360 million stem cells on the first day applying retro bulber technique. A day later, I administered the second unit of stem cells of the same quantity,” said Bansal.
The result: Bansal who could not even see his own hand for the past two months and a half now watches television. The cost of the therapy was Rs 80,000.
The news was greeted with amazement in Kolkata on Wednesday. “Just as you can not infuse life to a dead body, you can not restore vision to an optic atrophy patient. It would be a miracle if it has happened,” said Prof Himadri Dutta of Regional Institute of Opthalmology (RIO).
Twenty-two year-old US-based NRI patient Mukund Patil (name changed) got affected with optic atrophy and lost his vision about two and half months ago in Neenah city in Wisconsin state fater accidental consumption of methanol.
He was rushed to an eye specialist in Neenah who could promise no improvement in his condition. Desperate Mukund contacted a medical tourism agency seeking to know about any expert in stem cell therapy. The agency took him to a hospital in Chennai.
Himanshu Bansal, a Nainital-based researcher in stem cell therapy, met the patient in the hospital and performed stem cell therapy on him about three weeks ago.
After the treatment Patil was taken on Tuesday to a reputed retina foundation centre in Chennai for visual evoke potential test. This test is the final confirmatory test to check the optic nerve.
“The test showed confirmed Patil got back his vision more than 90 %. This is quite a miracle. No optic atrophy patient in the world has restored his or her vision before this case,” claimed Bansal.