Treatment of Optic Nerve Atrophy with Transplantation of One’s Own Stem Cells

The visual fibres gradually die, and connective tissue replaces them. This process is called optic nerve atrophy. The disease leads to the loss of the ability to perceive colors and, possibly, blindness. For the most effective restoration of the quality of vision, we recommend undergoing treatment for optic nerve atrophy at Mardaleishvili Medical Centre’s Eye Clinic.

In this medical institution, doctors practice the treatment of optic nerve atrophy with the introduction of stem cells. For the operation, the specialists of the clinic use autologous (own) biomaterial taken from the patient’s ilium, so the risk of rejection of transplanted cells by the body is eliminated.

Treatment consists of collecting the patient’s bone marrow, isolating stem cells, and injecting them intravitreally, retrobulbarly, intrathecally, and intravenously.

The effectiveness of treatment is determined by the following indicator: improvement of vision.

Performing the procedure

In the 2-3 days before transplantation, the patient undergoes the following consultations, examinations, and preoperative tests:

  • Ophthalmologist’s consultation
  • Neurologist’s consultation
  • Anesthesiologist’s consultation
  • Blood test (full blood count, coagulogram, immunophenotyping of lymphocytes, determination of blood group and Rh, serological screening for viruses, liver and kidney function)
  • OCT (optical coherence tomography)
  • Gonioscopy
  • Electrophysiological examination of the eye and optic nerve
  • Computerized perimetry (with a minimum of 10% vision)
  • Laser iridotomy (when the angle of the anterior chamber of the eyeball is narrow or closed)

A bone marrow collection and transplantation procedure will be performed after all examinations (the patient should not eat or drink for 5 or more hours before the procedure).

Procedure protocol

The first stage is the bone marrow collection.

The bone marrow is taken from the anterior and posterior tubercles of the patient’s ilium by aspiration. This procedure is quite painful, and it will be performed under general anesthesia. Anesthesia is administered by intravenous injection (Propofol) and inhalation (Sevoran). The amount of bone marrow sampling is determined by the age and weight of the patient (from 80 ml to 130 ml). This procedure lasts 15–30 minutes.

The laboratory performs stem cell isolation by centrifugation in a density gradient (Ficoll method).

This process takes 1.5–2 hours.

The resulting stem cells are suspended in saline.

During bone marrow processing, the patient is monitored in the intensive care unit.

The second stage is stem cell transplantation into the patient.

When transplant suspension is ready, stem cell transplantation begins after the patient is transferred to the operating room.

Usually the obtained suspension of the stem cells is injected intravitreally – into the eye with the several injections, retrobulbarly – into the orbit and intrathecally – into the spinal canal. The process of introducing of stem cells is performed under local anesthesia.

After transplantation, the patient stays in a separate ward. The patient can leave the clinic after monitoring for 2–3 hours, and receiving final consultation and recommendations.

Treatment of optic nerve atrophy

Classical therapy for optic nerve atrophy

Conventional ophthalmological techniques are powerless in the treatment of this disease since the self-regeneration of the organ is extremely low, especially in middle and old age. However, ophthalmologists may prescribe the following treatment procedures and activities:

  • Surgical intervention is required in order to establish the process of metabolism of useful substances in the damaged area. For example, the task may be to remove excess connective tissue or a tumor.
  • Medications — vitamin complexes and vasodilators
  • Physiotherapy — improving overall health and strengthening the immune system
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Magnetic stimulation and other methods, which take a lot of time and often have uncertain effectiveness in this pathology

The effectiveness of traditional therapy

Doctors believe that starting complex treatment as soon as possible increases the chances of restoring vision. This is true, but in practice, the situation is completely different since most people turn to a specialist in the advanced stages of the disease, when the connective tissue is already too rough and the nerve endings cannot be restored.

The low efficiency of classical therapy is another reason, because it is not able, for the most part, to initiate the process of restoring a damaged organ. Dead neurons cannot be restored by any method except cell therapy. Traditional therapy can only delay the process of total visual impairment by stimulating still-viable nerve fibres, improving nerve trophism, and improving blood circulation in the eyes.

Mardaleishvili Medical Centre is one of the leading clinics in the world, where you will undergo modern cell therapy and have your vision restored.

Treatment of optic nerve atrophy with stem cells

This is a new and promising technique, actively used in the best clinics of countries with developed healthcare systems. Today, it is available to you! The success of treatment largely depends on the reason why the atrophy occurred.

The main causes of optic nerve atrophy are:

  • Glaucoma
  • Neuritis
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Mechanical damage
  • Infarction of the optic nerve

These are acquired conditions and pathologies that can be successfully corrected, especially by innovative biological therapies such as stem therapy.

Georgia is a country where the treatment of optic nerve atrophy is affordable due to state control of the pricing of medical services.

Advantages of stem cell treatment of optic nerve atrophy over other methods:

  1. Restoration of vision in the most natural way for the body — with the help of one’s own biomaterial
  2. Micromanipulations performed by cells that are impossible for scalpel or laser surgery — elimination of excess connective tissue and restoration of destroyed nerve fibres
  3. Long-term therapeutic effect, which lasts almost until the end of the patient’s life.

Moreover, the cell therapy is safe since autologous biomaterials are used, and there will be no negative consequences. Unlike open or invasive intervention, there is no risk of damage to healthy tissues of the organ. Unlike medicines, there is no negative effect on the liver.

Advantages of the Mardaleishvili Medical Centre’s Eye Clinic:

  • The use of cell therapy, a technique that is not available in every clinic in the world
  • Highly qualified staff of specialists: transplantologists, surgeons, laboratory assistants, and anesthesiologists
  • Convenient transport location of the clinic — in the centre of Georgia’s capital
  • Modern equipment in laboratories and operating rooms
  • Privately owned cryobank
  • Organizational assistance at any stage of treatment

Get stem cell treatment for optic nerve atrophy and look at the diverse and colorful world with acuity!