Save Our Sights
In the mid 1990's it became apparent that employment by someone else was close to impossible. I decided to start my own business as well as a small private practice. I sought the opinions of several people about the different plans I can choose from and pursue. Someone said: "You have good vision!" No wonder I was deteriorating fast. I was praying for something I already had. Quickly, I started asking the Almighty for good eyesight, insight, foresight, hindsight, low light sight, peripheral field sight, brainsight, and now WEBSIGHT.
Annual Conference, Foundation Fighting Blindness: Downtown Marriott Hotel, Chicago, II., 22-24 August 2002. http://www.blindness.org
I. Man blind since birth now sees faces! No kidding! He has a very rare form of Retinal Degenerative Disease Theory: not all rods and cones are dead. Some may be partially or barely alive or just asleep. Survival factor prolongs the life of rods and cones. Action: Survival factor taken from chicken ciliary bodies (those reddish things that hold the lens in place) was injected into his eye. Dogs that underwent the same procedure still see two years later. Next step needed: develop a safe, effective and long term delivery system system. Pharmaceutical companies are working on that. ***See FFB Update July 2003 below!!!
II. The "Chip" is a light receptor array (scanner) directly attached to the surface of the retina by surgery, connected by wire (cord) to the Optic Nerve (natural cord) which then relays light/vision messages to the brain (CPU}. Next step: Prove safety, rule out inflammation, tissue damage AND DEVELOP an operating system that maps and converts perceived light signals to useful real time vision.
III. Jackpot plus CLEAR conscience amid Stem Cell controversy: The usual sources of stem cells are embryos from fertilized eggs or non fertilized eggs with the nucleus replaced by that of the desired type of cell. Non embryo derived cells are from aborted fetus, umbilical cord blood, bone marrow or skin. These need to be stimulated to behave like stem cells (we don't know how). Good news!!! The eye of humans and other animals have their own stem cells present since birth, persist till death and found alive as long as an hour afterwards. Eye stem cells unlike other non-embryo derived ones can copy itself indefinitely compared to the 4 or 5 times the others are capable of. Future development: A. the cells can be harvested, grown in a dish in the lab and re-injected into the eye. B. The cells can be stimulated to grow in the eye. Challenge: to provide tissue to repair a damaged retina hopefully free of disease or at least at a very early stage of disease AND make sure cancer is not inadvertently promoted.
Comment: It shall take years for all the above breakthroughs to be applicable for general use. This is the precise time to step up our efforts to the highest gear. I personally thank President Bush and the legislators for making Stem Cell research possible in the USA, NIH, FDA and other government agencies, The Foundation Fighting Blindness, businesses and other private contributors, scientist and researchers, families and friends for making all the above possible. Onward we go. Full speed ahead. dr G 8-29-02
Ppppppsssstttt !!! SCOOP !!! My new tape is done !!!
dr G's "i" Yoga was made by Dr. Guerrero for herself and others with Retinitis pigmentosa. It is the only program of its kind. It is a combination of Visualization and Yoga. Together they make a true mind and body healing art. The Visualization script can be modified to suit individual needs. Family members and friends can do it for their own purposes. You just gotta see (by proxy?) it to believe it !!!
***FFB Update July 2003: Neurotech is ready to start phase I of the first human drug safety trial this fall. It shall involve the use of ECT (Encapsulated Cell Technology) for long term delivery of CNTF (Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor). Subjects shall be patients with end stage RP.
***FFB Update Dec 2003: There are 10 participants in the phase 1 study of CNTF by ECT. Patients had to have the RP diagnosis confirmed, be 18 yrs. old and over and have a visual acuity of 20/100 or worse. No future selection of participants shall be scheduled until phase 1 confirms the safety of the method. See http://www.clinicaltrials.gov
*** SPECIAL REPORT !!!
Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations, Harvard Medical School, 23 September 2004: NEW TREATMENT REGIMEN FOR PATIENTS WITH RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA
Vitamin A, DHA and Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods:
Original Vitamin A study in 1993 showed that 15000 IU of Vitamin A Palmitate by mouth daily slowed down the visual degeneration in patients with Retinitis pigmentosa. 400 IU and greater doses of Vitamin E lessened this effect.
Summary of results in all subgroups in an 8 year study ending in 2004: A. Taking 600 mg DHA (docosahexanoic acid) twice a day by mouth by patients just starting Vitamin A further slowed down the degeneration of vision for 2 years after which there was no added benefit but adverse effects instead. B. Patients already on Vitamin A and taking 3 oz. of Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods (salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, tuna, etc.) 1 - 2 times a week decreased the annual rate of loss of visual field by 40% average.
New RECOMMENDATIONS: A. Patients just starting Vitamin A proceed with Vitamin A Palmitate 15000 IU by mouth daily and DHA 600 mg by mouth 2 x a day. RBC DHA level monitoring is advised. Stop DHA after 2 years. Shift from DHA to Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods. B. Patients already on Vitamin A continue Vit A and add Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods to the regimen. DHA plus diet change will not increase benefits further.
For general information, donations, gift annuities: Contact The Foundation Fighting Blindness at http://www.blindness.org
Quote: "There is just a bit more of a glimmer in the horizon. I may see the sunrise of my dreams after all while still on earth." dr G 2002
Construction Started 5 August 2002
Last Updated 22 June 2005
All Rights Reserved MMII
Magdalena D. Guerrero, M.D. (dr G)