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Blind Woman Regains Her Sight With This Amazing New Procedure

blind_eye

By Arjun Walia | Collective Evolution

Jeffrey N. Weiss, an American ophthalmologist, has been performing procedures that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for some time now. In fact, all he had to do was register his human trials with the US National Institutes of Health (which usually requires approval from the FDA).

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He was able to bypass the approval process because the procedure he was performing on patients had nothing to do with drugs. When a new drug is introduced claiming potential benefits to patients, it must face a rigorous approval process, although the many harmful drugs which still make their way onto the market would seem to belie this fact.

Weiss has been extracting stem cells from the bone marrow of blind patients and injecting them into their retina and optic nerve. As a result, some of his previously blind patients have been regaining their eyesight. One of those patients is Vanna Belton from Baltimore, who recently underwent the procedure. The Baltimore Sun explains why Weiss’ actions have proved to be so controversial:

Weiss is not following the usual steps of clinical studies. Among other things, he didn’t test his treatment theories first on lab animals or using computer models, or randomize his trials by using either stem cells or placebos in study participants. He didn’t test the procedure for safety on a small group before moving to a larger trial.

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He was able to avoid these steps because stem cells aren’t classified as a drug, which means that pharmaceutical companies can’t profit from the procedure. In order to use stem cells, they must be extracted from a patient’s body, undergoing very little processing. They are then always used on the same patient from whom they were extracted.

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