Stem cell breakthrough

NEW research could bring vision to some people who suffer from corneal blindness.

Two patients are undergoing treatment using stem cells which may bring their eye sight back.

The problem with corneal blindness is that the sufferer’s eyes have faulty stem cells which cloud that part of the eye and reduce vision.

One of the patients has only 10 per cent vision due to the complaint.

Doctors hope to replace the faulty stem cells with healthy ones that will clear up the fluid within the cornea, allowing the patient to see.

Patient Sylvia Paton went through the three-hour procedure 12 weeks ago.

Consultant opthamologist Dr Ashish Agrawal performed the operation on Sylvia.

He said: “I am delighted to report that Sylvia is recovering well.

“Her cornea is clear and I hope that it will continue to maintain clarity as she goes into the future.

“However, this is the first step in the complex visual rehabilitation process and she will require further surgical treatment to restore her vision.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon met with Sylvia.

Ms Sturgeon said: “This pioneering, new treatment could potentially restore sight and improve the lives of many patients and it is vital that we continue to invest in innovative projects such as this one”.