[blindza] Fw: Bionic eye: blind man Chris James sees after operation gives rudimentary vision
- From: "Jacob Kruger" <jacobk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: "NAPSA Blind" <blind@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "BlindZA" <blindza@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 09:33:36 +0200
For your information. Appended is today's article on Sky News UK. The video with this article is on the web page at the URL http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16220708 or the video can be accessed through the direct MP4 URL http://static1.sky.com/feeds/skynews/latest/h264/700/2012/05/030512-Bionic-Eye-Moore-Online.mp4 Best wishes, Peter Meijer Seeing with Sound - The vOICe http://www.seeingwithsound.com/winvoice.htm Bionic Eye Helps Blind Man To See Again. By Thomas Moore, health and science correspondent. A blind man has had a bionic eye implant that gives him rudimentary vision. Chris James, who had been totally blind for more than 20 years, is the firstBritish patient to be fitted with a digital chip similar to those used in mobile
phone cameras.Sky News was present during the operation and, later, when the chip was switched on.
Chris is able to see a rough outline of simple shapes. Doctors believe that in
time - as his brain 'learns' to see again - he could recognise faces."I've always had that thought that one day I would be able to see again," he said.
"This is not a cure, but it may put the world into some perspective. It'll give
me some imagery rather than just a black world." Surgeons at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital and King's College Hospital in London are testing the implant in a clinical trial of up to 12 patients with retinitis pigmentosa. The inherited eye disease destroys the retina - the 'seeing' part of the eye that is equivalent to a film in an old camera. There is no treatment. Around 25,000 families in Britain are affected by the condition.Surgeons in Oxford fitted the chip beneath Chris' retina in a complex eight-hour operation. Professor Robert MacLaren said the success of surgery was a "great
relief". "Chris is doing extremely well," he said. "With the first operation, with the new technology and the complexity of everything, we are all absolutely delighted with the result."A second patient has since been fitted with the chip and is also responding well.
The sensor, designed by the company Retina Implant, is just 3mm square and packed with 1,500 pixels. Light falling on the pixels is converted into an electrical signal that ispicked up by nerves and transmitted to the visual processing region of the brain.
Patients see a grainy, black and white image. And because the chip only covers a small part of the retina, their field of view is limited to a window the size of
a CD case held at arm's length.But, because Chris has been blind for so long, his brain will take weeks to make
sense of the images. Although he can see the curve of a plate, he does not see the whole circle. Professor MacLaren said: "The image is fragmented."A circle may be perceived as two half circles, or even four quadrants, perhaps
in different parts of space. What the brain needs to learn to do is put that back into one single object."It is repeating in many ways what we all did when we learned to see in early
childhood."Professor MacLaren said future generations of the chip are likely to be bigger,
to widen the field of view, and have greater resolution.The technology could be a cost-effective alternative to guide dogs, which cost
£50,000 to £75,000 to train.The chip is likely to be suitable for several hundred patients with retinitis
pigmentosa. In future it could be used to restore sight in patients with macular degeneration, a common disease in the over 65s. Source URL: http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16220708 ---------- To send a message to the list, send any message to blindza@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ---------- To unsubscribe from this list, send a message to blindza-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the subject line --- The 'homepage' for this list is at http://www.blindza.co.za
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