Blind British child hoping to see for the first time through stem cell therapy

22 years old British boy Joshua Clark is suffering from Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, an untreatable eyeblind-british-child condition that put him into the world of darkness.

Optic nerve hypoplasia is a medical condition that results in underdevelopment of the optic nerves. Optic nerve hypoplasia can appear in one or both eyes, causing anywhere from a mild to serious visual impairment in the form of decreased visual acuity and visual fields. People with this condition are also more likely to present with photophobia and nystagmus.

After raising £40,000 through sponsored bike rides, charity auctions and hundreds of small donations from members of the public, the family is due to arrive in China on Thursday to begin the treatment at a specialist hospital in the city of Hangzhou, two hours from Shanghai.

China at present is one of the world leader  stem cell therapies with a positive backup from Chinese ministry of health, which never disagree with the use of stem cell treatments for untreatable disorders, like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, etc.

Joshua’s parents, Anthony and Joanna Clark from Caernarfon, North Wales, were told by British doctors that there was no available treatment for the illness.

Though the outcome of the treatment is quite unpredictable, the Clark family have been encouraged by the success reports of two Northern Irish girls aged six and three who underwent the same treatment and saw noticeable improvement in their sight.

Doctors at the Zhejiang Xiaoshan Hospital in Hangzhou have decided to use umbilical stem cells to restore the damaged optic nerves of Joshua. If every thing goes well then the treatment program is expected to last 40 days, followed by hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment for at least one year at home. It has been observed in different trials that a combination or stem cell transplantation and oxygen therapy could achieve positive results.

Source:Stem Research Cell Blog

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