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World's First Recipient Of Reprogrammed Stem Cells Is A Japanese Man [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 04, 2017 07:20 AM EDT

The first recipient of reprogrammed stem cells is a Japanese man with macular degeneration. This medical breakthrough opens up hope for the treatment to cure millions of people in the US alone with the eye condition.

At the central portion of the eyes' retina, the macula can be found. This is the spot where the eyes record images and send them to be processed in the brain through the optic nerve.

It is also responsible for people to be able to see objects, recognize faces, read, and focus their vision. But as they age, the macula can deteriorate in the condition called as the macular degeneration.

A First in the World

The first recipient of reprogrammed stem cells is a Japanese man in his sixties, according to the He received the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that came from a donor.

Scientists were able to successfully perform the process of removing mature cells from another individual which they reprogrammed into an embryonic state. The cultivated skin cells were then transplanted on the retina of the Japanese man to stop his eye condition's progression.

As of the meantime, the patients' doctors chose not to make further announcements regarding his condition while they are not yet done with all the five procedure. While the operation was a success, the man still needs full monitoring.

Revolution of New Medicine

The potential of iPS cells used in therapeutic treatments has increasingly grown over time. While surgeries of patients getting their own stem cells have been performed before in a clinical trial, the Japanese man's case is unique because the iPS cells came from another person.

This paves the way to the modern medicine of having an iPS cell bank that would match a perfect donor based on a patient's biological signature. While the first recipient of reprogrammed stem cells is a Japanese man, odds say he definitely would not be the last with the modern medicine's development.

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