Given that inherited retinal diseases are often diagnosed in childhood, it’s only fitting that kids get the opportunity to learn about the promising research and emerging treatments under development to save and restore their vision. Of course, the biology and genetics can be difficult to understand for even an educated adult, so when something kid-friendly is produced, especially a video, we are eager to share it.
Enter a two-minute animated video which does a nice job of simply explaining what stem cells are, where they come from and how they can be used to treat disease. It was put together by the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health. There are times when the language can get a little technical—the use of the word “pluripotent,” for example—but I suspect many kids will get most of it.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness currently funds several stem-cell projects, because of their potential for replacing and saving photoreceptors, the cells that make vision possible, lost to disease. Listed below are a few Foundation posts highlighting the great stem-cell work underway for the retina.