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Old Feb 15, 2013, 09:12 AM   #1
SilentPanda
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Bionic Eye Becomes a Reality - Retinal Device to Treat Blindness Gets U.S. Approval

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...323390606.html

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Regulators have approved a bionic eye for the first time in the U.S., saying Second Sight Medical Products Inc.'s retinal prosthesis can be used to treat a certain kind of blindness.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Argus II, which sends electrical stimulation to the retina to induce vision in individuals afflicted with retinitis pigmentosa.

This disorder, which can run in families, damages and kills the cells in the retina—a tissue layer at the back of the eye—that process light. The disease causes vision to become increasingly blurry until they can't see at all. Around 100,000 patients in the U.S. have the condition.

The Argus II, which is already available in Europe, can't restore sight completely, but it can improve vision in individuals who can see almost nothing.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 08:29 PM   #2
Hugh
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This is good news for my roommate, he is blind with this condition. He's totally blind so as it is now wouldn't help him, but in the future this could restore his vision. Let's hope they can improve the product.


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Old Feb 18, 2013, 03:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hugh View Post
This is good news for my roommate, he is blind with this condition. He's totally blind so as it is now wouldn't help me, but in the future this could restore his vision. Let's hope they can improve the product.
If this is the same technology I've heard about previously, then it can be used to restore sight to someone completely blind.

Each point on the implanted grid acts as a rod, and sends the information down the optic nerve which is interpreted by the brain as one giant point of light. It's still rather limited at the moment. The image produced by the technology is only able to resolve an image within a 16x16 grid, where each point acts somewhat like a pixel on a monitor.

If you want an example, the documentary I saw had one of the recipients trying to identify an object on a table. A banana in this instance. What he saw looked something like this...



So no, it isn't anywhere near a crystal clear image at the moment. But I'd imagine it's still far, far preferable to the alternative.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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Oh I agree that right now it wouldn't restore sight to someone that is totally blind like my roommate. But in the future with tech getting better every year it might not take as long as you think. This procedure is only 6 years old (although some procedures like this one have been being development for years) and they are this far with it, just think what another 6 years could hold.

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Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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Oh I agree that right now it wouldn't restore sight to someone that is totally blind like my roommate. But in the future with tech getting better every year it might not take as long as you think. This procedure is only 6 years old (although some procedures like this one have been being development for years) and they are this far with it, just think what another 6 years could hold.

Hugh
It can restore sight to those who are completely blind. The limitation is if the person was born completely blind.
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