Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Open Access ISSN: 2639-9512


Blunt Force Trauma-Induced Total Bilateral Visual Impairment of 13 Years Duration Treated with Autologous Telomerase-Positive Stem Cells

Authors: Henry E. Young, Mark O. Speight.

Loss of visual acuity may result from genetics, cancer, metabolic disorders, trauma, or aging. Adult telomerase- positive totipotent stem cells have been identified in multiple species of animals, including humans. Characterization studies to identify differentiated cells utilized three clones of adult-derived totipotent stem cells (TSCs) and treated them with induction factors consisting of chemical mediators, human recombinant proteins and cell-specific exosomes. Results demonstrated that the TSC clones would form cells expressing phenotypic markers of the neural ectodermal lineage, e.g., ectodermal stem cells, ectodermal progenitor stem cells, neurons, ganglion cells, glial cells, and neural crest derivatives. Autologous TSCs were shown to partially restore function in clinical trial participants with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Age-related Dry Macular Degeneration. It was hypothesized that following intranasal infusion, TSCs would migrate to areas associated with the visual pathway to repair and/or regenerate damaged and/or missing cells, thus restoring function. In this small cohort study (n=1), the presenting symptom for a 17-year-old female was total bilateral visual impairment (complete blindness) of 13-years duration, due to severe head trauma from an automobile accident at four years of age. Following her first TSC treatment, she could see indistinct black shapes on a background of a dark shade of gray. Following her second TSC treatment she could see background as a lighter shade of gray and a black square with slightly more distinct borders. No adverse effects were noted after either autologous TSC treatment. These results suggest that two treatments with TSCs were both safe and somewhat efficacious in helping to partially restore her ‘night’ vision.

View/Download pdf