Doctors find new way to combat disease that affects the eyes, spinal cord

October 10, 2019  16:12

Stem cell transplantation can reverse the development of opticomyelitis, also known as Devic's disease, scientists from Northwestern University found out.

Opticomyelitis is a disease that affects optic nerve and spinal cord and typically leads to vision loss in one or both eyes, although many patients regain some sight.

According to Xinhua, unlike most autoimmune diseases, opticomyelitis has a biological marker of activity - AQP4.

During the tests, scientists conducted 12 patients with a stem cell transplant. Most patients felt better five years after transplantation and were able to avoid drug treatment, which cost up to $ 500,000 per year. Only two volunteers were forced to return to medication.

Interestingly, the transplant gave an almost complete disappearance of AQP4, and the effect persisted for up to five years.

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