Nov 1 2004
A new method for visual impairment treatment has been discovered by researchers of the Institute of Human Brain, Russian Academy of Sciences.
The patients suffering from visual impairment can be helped if a healthy donor’s cerebrospinal fluid is introduced to the parent’s vertebral canal – this method is called liquortransfusion. Physiologists have determined that the method is effective even when prescription of visual impairment exceeds five years. Eyesight improves with 83 percent of patients.
The reasons that deprive people of the ability for normal vision are multifarious – these are not only eye diseases, but also lesions of optic nerve, visual tracts and visual centers in the cerebrum. Till recently, physicians believed that effective treatment of visual system was possible only at early stages when no more than three months elapsed since the onset. Treatment at later stages was normally unsuccessful. Now physicians have the opportunity to restore vision of the patients who suffered visual impairment five and more years ago.
The method of endolumbal introduction (into the vertebral canal) of a healthy donor’s cerebrospinal fluid has been applied for several years already by specialists of the Institute of Human Brain, Russian Academy of Sciences. They have taken out a patent of the Russian Federation for application of this method for treatment of heavy neurologic patients who lost the ability for normal seeing. The donors are healthy volunteers, usually relatives of the patients. The cerebrospinal fluid (liquor) is transfused either immediately after it is taken from the donor or after short-term conservation and sterilization. Likewise blood transfusion, the group should be taken into account – the researchers have discovered four groups of cerebrospinal fluid (liquor) similar to four groups of blood.
Specialists state that one transfusion is sufficient to improve vision, in some cases the transfusion is repeated in several months. Vision is effectively restored with 83 percent of patients within the first two years after the disease onset, and at later stages - in 67.5 percent of cases. The researchers emphasize that treatment effectiveness does not significantly depend on the cause of the disease. The majority of patients experience vision improvement within the first two weeks after the procedure. Later on, vision rate continues to improve. Regardless of the visual system lesions degree, the general treatment response consists in expanding the field of vision. Even in case of amaurosis or if only light sensitivity is retained, it is possible to restore the outline vision and even subject vision after the cerebrospinal fluid (liquor) has been transfused.
The researchers explain the medicinaleffect of the donor cerebrospinal fluid by the presence of the substances similar to drugs in it – i.e., neuropeptides, which impact positively the systems of neural and neurohumoral regulation of the patient’s brain. These substances cause plastic rearrangements in the unaffected parts of the brain, and change interaction of various celebral structures that ensure visual functions. That allows the brain to make up the existing defects.
Clinical observations have proved that the cerebrospinal fluid (liquor) transfusion promotes electric cerebral biocurrents and initiates reorganization processes in the visual zone of the cerebral cortex and in the central nervous system as a whole. Neurohumoral regulation is evident in the fact that previously formed pathological relationship between cerebral portions gets suppressed and new relationship originates, which enables the visual system to function normally.