Vision Loss

Approximately 12 million Americans over the age 40 have vision impairment, a million of whom are legally blind.

Read more below about how stem cell research is helping in the fight against vision loss.


  • According to a 2016 study by the NIH, visual impairment and blindness cases in the U.S. are expected to double by 2050.
  • Three of the most common causes for vision loss are:

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) — Is an inherited and progressive disease that causes degeneration of photoreceptors, resulting in loss of peripheral vision and eventually leading to complete blindness.
  • Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency — Is an inherited disease caused by the loss of stem cells that refresh the outer surface of the eye, called the cornea, resulting in blurred vision and gradual total vision loss.

How Stem Cells Can be Used to Treat Vision Loss 

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration — The retina’s layer of support cells called retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE cells), can be replaced and/or protected using stem cells. 
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa — Stem cells can be used to prevent the photoreceptors from dying, and potentially replacing already-destroyed cells with new ones. 
  • Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency — Limbal stem cells can be derived, expanded, and delivered to the eye to rebuild the cornea. 

CIRM’s Progress: Selected Research Highlights

Vision Loss Organizations Endorsing YES on Prop 14

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To see the full list of over 80 patient advocate organizations that endorse YES on Prop 14, please click here.