Researchers at Cardiff University have received funding to examine if barrow marrow stem cells could prevent damage caused by glaucoma.

The study has demonstrated in the lab that by transplanting bone marrow stem cells into a glaucoma model, the death of retinal ganglion cells could be prevented and vision preserved.

Research lead, Dr Ben Mead from the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at Cardiff University, said: ‘These bone marrow stem cells act as mini factories, secreting many positive factors which behave as protective agents for retinal ganglion cells.

‘If we can isolate these exosome packages and replicate the same therapeutic effects without the need for a transplant, this will not only be a safer approach but it is also more effective as higher doses can be used.

‘We are now working to compare exosomes from different stem cell types to determine which is the most effective and is thus appropriate for clinical testing.’

Funding, which has been made by Fight for Sight in partnership with Glaucoma UK and Health and Care Research Wales, was announced during World Glaucoma Week (March 7-13).