Premier Welcomes ReOpening of Parsons Investigation

first_imgPremier Darrell Dexter welcomed news of the decision by HRM Partners in Policing to re-open the investigation involving Rehtaeh Parsons. “Nova Scotians will be heartened that someone has come forward with credible information, allowing the police to re-open this investigation,” said Premier Dexter. “I implore anyone else who may have information to share, to bring it forward.” The premier noted tips can be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling toll-free 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submitting a secure web tip at or texting a tip – Tip 202 + your message to 274637. Nova Scotians mourning the loss of Rehtaeh Parsons can express condolences and send sympathies to her family through an online page at . And those who might need help,or have concerns about loved ones, can visit . The premier said he is confident Nova Scotians will stand behind the Parsons family during such a difficult time. “We must do our best, as a community and a society, to respect the family’s privacy at this time, and to allow them the space and ability to honour her memory in peace,” said Premier Dexter.last_img read more

Stem cell patch allows wordblind patients to read again

first_imgDouglas Waters, Prof Lydon da Cruz, Freda Waters, and Odysseas GeorgiadisCredit:Matt Thackray  Embryonic stem cells have the ability to become any cell in the body in the right environment Douglas Waters who can read again after becoming the first person in the world to have a stem cell eye patch implanted  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Embryonic stem cells have the ability to become any cell in the body in the right environment Douglas Waters, Prof Lydon da Cruz, Freda Waters, and Odysseas Georgiadis “They represent another step forward in materializing our hopes of clinical implementation of  human embryonic stem cell based treatment of age-related macular degeneration in the not so distant future.”The trial results were published in the journal Nature Biotechnology. Experts said the treatment offered ‘real hope’ to people suffering from AMD.Professor Lyndon da Cruz, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “The patients who received the treatment had very severe AMD, and their improved vision will go some way to enhance their quality of life.“We recognise that this is a small group of patients, but we hope that what we have learned from this study will benefit many more in the future.“The results suggest that this new therapeutic approach is safe and provides good visual outcomes.”The patch was grown on a thin plastic scaffold from human embryonic stem cells. Rather than replacing the damaged light-sensitive cells themselves, the sheet comprises of a single layer of retinal pigment epithelium, a specialist tissue which provides support for the light cells, keeping them healthy and promoting regeneration.Previously stem cells have been used to help AMD sufferers, but it is the first time a patch has been grown and transplanted. In a two hour operation, specialists inserted the patch under the retina of each patient, who were then monitored for a year. Both went from not being able to read at all, to reading up to 80 words-a-minute using normal reading glasses.Douglas Waters, 86, from Croydon, London, was one of two people who had received the treatment at Moorfields Eye Hospital. He developed severe wet AMD in July 2015 and received the treatment three months later in his right eye. Scans show new darker cells growing around hte patch after a year Credit:UCL/Moorfields Eye Hospital Dr Dusko Ilic, Reader in Stem Cell Science, King’s College London  added: “Even though still in the experimental stage, encouraging results from the da Cruz team are reducing further safety concerns with the human embryonic stem cell based therapies. Douglas Waters who can read again after becoming the first person in the world to have a stem cell eye patch implanted Credit:Matt Thackray Scans show new darker cells growing around hte patch after a year  It is the first time an engineered piece of tissue has been successfully used to treat people with sudden severe sight loss. The new therapy will need to go through larger trials and then be passed by regulators, but researchers believe it could be available in eye clinics in as little as five years. Two patients suffering the most common form of sight loss in Britain can read again after a groundbreaking stem cell patch was transplanted into their eyes.An 86-year-old man, and a woman in her 60s, had both been diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition which causes loss of central vision.AMD affects more than 600,000 people in Britain and occurs when the specialised light-sensitive cells at the very centre of the retina – a region called the macular – become damaged.  Currently the only treatments available are injections into the eye, or laser surgery, which both slow the growth of blood vessels which harm the macular. However they only partially restores sight and do not work for everyone.Now scientists at University College London (UCL) and Moorfields Eye Hospital in London have shown sight can be restored using a patch of stem-cells which replenishes the damaged area. “I was struggling to see things clearly, even when up-close,” he said. “After the surgery my eyesight improved to the point where I can now read the newspaper and help my wife out with the gardening.“It’s brilliant what the team have done and I feel so lucky to have been given my sight back.” Professor Pete Coffey from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology said: “This study represents real progress in regenerative medicine and opens the door on new treatment options for people with age-related macular degeneration. “We hope this will lead to an affordable ‘off-the-shelf’ therapy that could be made available to NHS patients within the next five years.”Commenting on the research Dr Carmel Toomes, Associate Professor, Leeds Institutes of Molecular Medicine, said: These results give the many patients out there who suffer from AMD and other retinal degenerations real hope that stem cells replacement therapy may be a reality in the near future.“While this is only a very early clinical trial, the results are positive and show that the technology is moving along in the right direction.”last_img read more