Successful optic nerve regeneration offers hope

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital were able to successfully regenerate optic nerve fibers in mice and restore some of the basic vision in the mice. In the study, the mice had severe optic nerve damage and they were able to regain some depth perception, the ability to perceive light and the ability to detect overall movement of the visual field.

These study findings offer hope that it might be possible for patients blinded by optic nerve damage as a result of either trauma or glaucoma might be able to regain some visual function. This is the first study where the optic fibers were able to grow long enough to go from the eye to the brain.

Researchers would need to adapt the molecular manipulations that were performed in the mice in order to create a viable treatment for patients and they anticipate investigating a possible gene-therapy approach in the future.*

Comments

  1. when will trials to regenerate optic nerve start for humans.

    • Very interesting, maybe a trip to New York is in the future. Your strength, faith, and love never ceases to amaze me.

      • Mrs. Shanti Iyer says:

        Dear Dr.

        We are in India and our little daughter undergone ETV for LGG with Hydrocephalus and got a hut fixed. she is fine now, But diagnosed that her optic nerve is damaged and now has low vision. She is crying to read and study like all others on her own. She could not read fonts like this. But can read 44 font size that is very difficult in school environs. We are praying every day that some research should succeed to save millions of people like her. she is 15 now and has a long way to go in life. And we are not rich also and are middle class people.

        Cold you please mail us the latest dev on optic nerve regeneration and oblige?

        God bless you.

        Regards

        Shanti Iyer

        • sir,
          i had a bike accident one year before & my left eye optic nerve was damaged my lower part of eye was nice upper part is blurr i have any treatment plzzzzzzzzzzzzz tell me sir my job is depend on my eye site

    • Yes mam!!! Thank you Susie…just doing what a momma does!

    • Linda Harris Watson says:

      AWESOME….IM LOVING THIS

    • Linda, I am also!!!!

    • Kara Underwood says:

      Stem cell treatment is already regenerating and repairing optic nerve damage in humans right now!

      • Kara do you mean people with damaged optic nerves that have gone blind in one eye can now be repaired to full vison

      • My bf was shot in the head 17 years ago lost his right eye completely wears an eye patch his left eye vision has been Good w contact but recently vision is getting worse. He’s also had surgery to Good eye 3 times. Retinal surgery now we are worried if he loses sight in good eye. What are the chances of that happening? We were told once optic nerve damaged will never see again out of right eye. Looking for any info. Umhoferj@yahoo.com

        • pkrawitz says:

          We are unable to comment about risks and benefits to surgery pertaining to a particular patient. If you are unsure of the recommended surgical course, a second medical opinion might be advised.

      • Sherry fitzgerald says:

        Do you know when this stem cell treatment is being done. I am blind in one eye due to optic nerve damage from MS

        • pkrawitz says:

          There are many new treatments in development. Continue to follow the VisiVite blog for the latest breakthrough news in eye health.

  2. Linda Harris Watson says:

    I have to share this on my page.

  3. Alain David says:

    Could this also be used to repair optic nerves of those who became blind because their optic nerves were cut in a car crash ?

    • Perhaps, if not completely severed. But that is unknown.

      • Peggy salling says:

        So, if your optic nerve was severed there’s no hope for sight? My son loss his sight in a car accident and his optic nerve was severed. The doctor said the only way he could get his sight back would be with stem cell research, is this right being his nerve was severed?

  4. I’ve a son with optic nerve damage and I continue to hope for a breakthrough in science. However, please do not be gullible and believe just any promises; go to a reputable centre. A word of caution, there’re many places (China, India, even USA) offering stem cells treatment for blindness and you’d only lose your money. Be wise. Read up and contact reputable centres.

  5. Ora Hill says:

    I have a son that was in a car accident at the age of 16. Due to the accident he had a brain trauma and his optic nerves are pinched. I have been reading and reading and up until now so know hope for my son to see again. It would truly be a blessing from God and the doctors that are doing this research to find a correction for this. I never could understand why the optic nerve could not heal itself. Is there any where here in California that I can take my son are get him on a waiting list once the testing can be done on humans?

  6. can anyone please send me a email and let me know which country or medical centre anywhere in the world has the treatment for optic nerve regeneration i would really appreciate it with all my heart , my father god bless him is 78 years old and other than his eyesight he has really good health i, he has glucauma in 1 eye and cataracts in the other plus he is diabetic , all i want to do is even restore 20 procent of his vision .
    my name is barry o’rourke and my email address is xxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com thank you all very very much

  7. Charlene Ciavarri says:

    My daughter was born without some nerves in her right eye and she is legally blind in that eye. Has technology and science advanced enough so that her sight can be restored?

    • The results for optic nerve regeneration have been promising in animals. But no work to date has shown that normal optic nerves can replace those that have never developed properly.

  8. I have optic nerve separation when I was 15 from (TBI) blunt head trauma,what are my chances if any to reattach the optic nerve to my blind eye?Any leads or ideas would be much appreciated.

  9. maria choi says:

    I had shingles and lost vision in my right eye. My eye is healthy…the nerves are damaged. Any research on if this? If it is possible to repair nerve damage?

  10. Hi Dr. Krawitz,

    Do you have any comments on the Nanospheres Delivering the EGFR TKI AG1478 Promote Optic Nerve Regeneration?

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn103146p

    Do you know something new related to this approach?

    Thanks

  11. Dear Dr.Krawitz,
    My brothers left eye is completely gone and his right eye has poor vision (blurry and narrow vision area). He has MS. I found this in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a79RB5TbWd8
    Do you think it helps his right eye?
    Thank you very much for your kind recommendation.

  12. pramod savant says:

    My daughter is just one year old and suffering from low vision due to drying of optic nerve. Opthologist suggest for physiotherapy exercise for increase vision. But doctor have no hope of vision improvement more than 5 to 6 ft area. Kindly suggest me further remedies to overcome this problem. As my daughter have also autism disease & under late growth. But at present I have continued with physiotherapy.
    kindly suggest diognosis for my innocent child.

  13. Joseph Gonsalves IV says:

    I am a 28 year old that was in a traumatic car accident at the age of 18 and was in ac oma for 2 months and a week awoke on my birthday and found out my left eye lost the iris and pupil so I only have the eye ball and my right eye the optical nerve has been damaged (cut) so I am completely blind and I am hoping that you would beable to give me some information on how to restore my optic nerve

  14. Richard Tibbetts says:

    I have long dreamed of a day when doctors would find a way to regenerate optic nerves. I was a victim of “Shaken Baby Syndrome”, and as a result, had NINE (9) Craniotomies performed on me before I even left the maternity ward. During one of those operations, they accidentally nicked my optic nerves. I have suffered poor eyesight all of my life. The rest of my family has no eye troubles at all.

  15. Hi
    My baby has no vision in his left eye. As I read above there is stem cell treatment for this . Please suggest me the guidelines.
    Monika agarwal

  16. BharathKumar says:

    Hi Dr. Krawitz,

    I am from India, My fiance met with an accident an year ago and lost her right eye due to optic nerve damage, we consulted many eye centers but is of no use kindly provide your advise to the below mail id xxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com. waiting for your reply

    Thanks in advance
    Bharath

    • Unfortunately, optic nerve regeneration has not yet been able to be accomplished in humans. But as the article shows, research is continuing and we are growing increasingly hopeful.

  17. Anurag Jain says:

    My father does not have vision in his eyes now due to damaged optic nerves.He is diabetic.
    Please suggest if you have any cure for it.

  18. I wonder how long do we have to wait before this therapy is made available to the mass public who are suffering from optic nerve disease? 10 years?? Some of us would probably won’t be alive to see the treatment getting to them.

  19. I supposed this treatment is only ready in 10 years or so. That’s a long wait. Not sure if some of us would still be alive till then.

  20. Dr. Krawitz
    My son was shot in the head last month. The bullet blew the back of his left eye out and severed the optical nerve of the right eye. We were told he would never see again, yet he is now seeing bright white and sometimes light blue lights in the peripheral of both eyes. These are not lights as we see them but he is not in darkness as he was initially. Also, the left eye was reconstructed by is very small as it has no glutenous substance inside it. What do you think these lights are?

  21. Hello. My wife is blind in one eye due to an accident she was in many years ago, when it was said that her optic nerve was severed. The thing is, her eye looks totally fine so from everything I’ve read, there must still be a blood supply to the eye.
    Do you think it’s possible sight can be restored?
    How long do you think, before trials on humans will be done?
    I’ve read your responses but the last ones were almost a year ago.
    Can you let us know when testing will be allowed on humans the moment they’re approved? I love my wife dearly and would absolutely love getting her vision back in that eye! Thank you.

  22. Hello guys..
    I m from Pakistan
    I have glaucoma in my both eyes from teen age
    I m 21 years old now and my left eye nerve is damaged very badly. I just feel hand movement with it. When will it be possible for humans ?
    Thanks
    Appreciate your hard work

  23. kishore warule says:

    can you help me. my wife is opreted by brain opretion after opretion she loss her vison due to optic never damege .
    is it possible rejoin same please .
    if possible please contact me .

  24. Kiruthika Sureshkumar says:

    Hi,
    My nephew and niece are 20 and 11 years respectively. They are affected by a genetic disease of Bone thickening which resulted in optic and hearing nerves damage in the elder brother and the younger sister’s optic nerve have started to getting compressed. We are desperately searching for some kind of treatment to stop the nerve damage in the younger sister. I would be very keen to know the latest development in optic nerve regeneration. Please let me know if you have any cure for this.
    Many Thanks

  25. JOSÉ ANTONIO DE SOUZA JÚNIOR says:

    Any hope for ONA? Stem cells or another thing?

  26. what is the latest research on regeneration of damaged optic nerves? i have read Mass. Eye and Ear is doing a lot of work also.

  27. Jason Miller says:

    This is somewhat good news, although I don’t have hope that there will be a day that my brother will regain vision. When he was 2 he was struck by an automobile and the optic nerve was severed. His “good” eye has strabismus which has been uncorrectable with surgery, thus he has a horrible field of vision that includes looking at his nose. He also has little eye movement ability in his good eye. Little things we take for granted, like watching 3-D movies are an impossibility for my now 29 year old brother and I hope that one there will be a cure.

  28. Srinivas Rao says:

    Hi Dr
    I from India,and i met with an accident in 2005,in this my left eye optic nerve was fully damaged and i lost my vision, i have gone for treatment in plenty of hospitals but no positive in this, so i request you to apdate any advanced treatment found or any suggestions.

    Thanking You
    Srinivas Rao
    Srinivas rao

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