UNITED STATES—Optic atrophy is the outcome of many diseases, which leads to a decrease in visual acuity and, as a result, to complete blindness. It is believed that the pathology cannot be cured. Conservative methods of therapy are aimed at slowing or stopping its progression. But in recent years, doctors have been using new techniques that give hope for a lasting improvement in visual function. You can undergo your stem cell treatment for optic nerve atrophy abroad. Such a therapy provides nervous tissue regeneration, improves metabolic processes, and increases visual acuity.

What is the cause of the development of the disease? 

The choice of treatment tactics depends on the cause of atrophy. Some causes can be successfully eliminated with surgical treatment or conservative therapy.

The main causes are as follows: 

  • glaucoma; 
  • eye injury; 
  • tumors; 
  • vascular diseases; 
  • poisoning by alcohol substitutes or other chemicals;
  • thrombosis or embolism of the blood vessels supplying the eye.

The essence of the disease is that the nerve partially or completely dies. Impulses do not pass from the retina to the brain, so visual information is perceived by the eye, but is not transmitted to the central nervous system. The task of treatment is to eliminate the cause of the disease, reduce the degree of nerve atrophy and, if possible, ensure its recovery.

What is the process of treatment? 

There is no standard method of stem cell treatment that would be used in all hospitals. This procedure is not a first-line treatment option. Today it is mainly used in clinical trials. Different Eye Centers use different approaches to stem cell therapy.

Stem cells are usually harvested from: 

  • bone marrow;
  • peripheral blood;
  • cord blood.

Doctors can use a donor or a patient’s own cells. Most hospitals use the patient’s own cells as a safer treatment option.

Here is where the finished drugs can be administered: 

  • intravenously; 
  • parabulbar injections (in the eye); 
  • through an incision in the sclera into the sub-Tenon’s and suprachoroidal spaces (a drainage is required, which will be removed after the completion of the course of therapy).

How does it work? 

Stem cells are able to differentiate into other highly specialized cells, including nerve cells. They are embedded in defective areas and replace them. In addition, cells secrete growth factors that increase blood circulation and stimulate tissue regeneration. Under the influence of stem cells, the blood vessels of the optic nerve and its disc are regenerated.

Thus, stem cells work through the following several mechanisms:

  • transformation into the required cells and embedding in the defect zone; 
  • blocking apoptosis (cell destruction);
  • inhibition of scar tissue growth; 
  • inflammation suppression; 
  • acceleration of the growth of new blood vessels. 

After a full course of treatment, a person not only stops the progression of the disease, but also increases visual acuity. The effect is achieved in a few months. It persists for several years but gradually worsens, so it is advisable to repeat the course of treatment periodically.

You can undergo your treatment for atrophic changes in the optic nerve in one of the German medical centers. You are welcome to use the Booking Health website to find prices, compare the cost of treatment in the best clinics in Germany, and make your treatment appointment at a low price. The prices for you will be lower than usual due to the absence of additional fees for foreign patients. The company’s employees will help you to choose an Eye Center and fully organize your trip.