Septo-Optic Dysplasia – New Hope For SOD Patients With Cell Therapy
Cell Therapy And The Fight Against Septo-Optic Dysplasia
Currently, the cause of Septo-Optic Dysplasia (SOD) is not known, and there is no evidence to suggest that the condition is hereditary. This disorder affects both male female and children equally.
SOD has a global prevalence of one in every 50,000 persons. The disease has been shown to occur in young mothers majorly. Other risk factors include the use of alcohol during pregnancy, maternal diabetes and, maternal use of anticonvulsants.
Could Cell Therapy Help With Septo-Optic Dysplasia?
Cell Therapy might just be the answer for treatment of people with septo-optic dysplasia.
Physicians have made significant progress in dealing with the various features of SOD. For instance, in the case of patients diagnosed with both ONH and pituitary gland anomalies (a common form of SOD), Cell Therapy has been shown to yield positive results. It can be used to manage various features of SOD.
Septo-optic Dysplasia patients treated with Cell Therapy are injected with new cells, which can regenerate into the neural cells and in the process secrete their neutrophic factors. This helps in not only preserving vision but also in significant improvement of lost sight.
Additionally, since the pituitary gland is a substantial part of the endocrine system, medical experts have shown that Cell Therapy can be used to reestablish pituitary function by promoting cell regeneration in the endocrine system.
As a result, this process might help in regaining normal hormone homeostasis. Thus, patients with this form of SOD can lead a healthy life.
When live cells are used in patients with septo-optic dysplasia, improvement is realized in the following areas:
- Light perception
- Field of vision
- Visual acuity
- Colour vision
- Night vision
In cases where a patient shows another form of SOD in which midline brain anomalies is present, medical specialists have shown the benefits of using Cell Therapy in the treatment of other brain disorders and diseases.
For example, in the treatment of traumatic brain injury using Cell Therapy, improvement in movement and coordination has been realized.
Consequently, extensive research is currently being undertaken to see how the same results can be accomplished using Cell Therapy, in combating the effects of medial brain abnormalities such as difficulty in movement and coordination and thus, helping patients with this feature of SOD.
What Is Septo-Optic Dysplasia?
Septo-optic Dysplasia (SOD), also known as de Morsier Syndrome, is a disorder associated with optic nerve hypoplasia, midline brain anomalies, and pituitary gland hypoplasia.
This disorder is clinically diagnosed when two or more of the above features are present. It is also frequently associated with other cerebral abnormalities such as schizencephaly (most common), ocular anomalies and midline malformations. SOD is identified in infants.
Diagnosing Septo-Optic Dysplasia
Diagnosis of SOD entails determination that two or more of the following conditions are present: optic nerve hypoplasia, midline brain anomalies, and pituitary gland abnormalities.
In only about one-third of SOD cases, the children have all the three features. These three features of SOD and have a number of resultant effects.
First, optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH) refers to the underdevelopment of the optic nerve during gestation. Consequently, the child experiences visual impairment in one or both eyes depending on the severity of the anomaly.
Secondly, in midline brain anomalies, the midbrain, known as the septum pellucidum and corpus callosum, are absent or only small areas of it exist. This might result in underdevelopment of the child. For example, their speech might be delayed, or they may also walk later in life. Additionally, the child might have difficulties in movement and coordination.
Finally, concerning the pituitary gland anomalies, the pituitary gland produces insufficient essential hormones that are responsible for control of many body parts and functions. The growth hormone (GH) is the most affected hormone in this condition. Low levels of GH results in short stature.
Septo-Optic Dysplasia complications
Other problems associated with the pituitary gland anomaly include hypoglycemia, high salt levels (hypernatremia) and diabetes insipidus (production of excess urine and thirst).
In most cases, the diagnosis of SOD is done during childhood, but it can also be performed during a routine prenatal ultrasound examination.
A child is suspected to have SOD when they display symptoms such as reduced growth, low blood sugar levels, small genitalia in males, and susceptibility to infections.
SOD effects vary significantly from one child to another. In a majority of the cases, the children have both low levels of the pituitary hormone, especially GH deficiency, and visual impairment.
Treatment Options For Septo-Optic Dysplasia
Presently, no known treatment for SOD has been confirmed. However, the condition is clinically managed. Since SOD affects various body systems and the disorder varies greatly from one patient to the other, long-term clinical management aims at combating the SOD effects in the affected body systems.
More than one specialist are often involved in helping the patient fight the disease. For instance, a patient diagnosed with two features of SOD, namely, optic nerve hypoplasia and pituitary gland anomalies, will majorly receive the services of both endocrinologists and ophthalmologists.
In this case, the ophthalmologists will help with combating visual impairment at its early stage. This may entail occlusion of the eye with better vision, which may result in visual improvement in the other eye.
The endocrinologists will measure hormonal levels, determine which are inadequate, and supplement the levels with artificial hormones to improve the performance of body functions and parts.
Neuro-developmental pediatricians are also involved in handling midline brain anomalies.
Septo-Optic Dysplasia Symptoms
SOD symptoms vary significantly from one patient to another depending on the severity of the disorder and the combination of associated main features.
In infants, symptoms such as hypoglycemic seizures, cyanosis, apnea, and microphallus are experienced.
Additionally, 60% of the patients display abnormal endocrine functions and thus have multiple pituitary deficits. Growth hormone is the most common hormonal deficit in this case.
On the other hand, 40% of patients with standard endocrine functions often experience schizencephaly and seizure. Other symptoms include visual impairment and developmental delay.
In conclusion, septo-optic dysplasia is a rare condition distinguished by any amalgamation of midline abnormalities, and pituitary gland hypoplasia. With Cell Therapy, there is hope the disease will be permanently curbed.
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