It’s taken three years, but the recent results of an extended clinical trial have shown that a bionic eye developed by American researchers isn’t only safe, but it can actually restore vision in those with degenerative eye diseases like retinitis pigmentosa(1).
The results, published in the journal Opthamology, found that almost 90% of the trial subjects could see better after using the device.
Known as Argus II, the bionic eye significantly improved the quality of life of 80% of trial participants(2).
The discovery is being hailed as a step forward in assistive technology, similar to the cochlear implant – a device which has restored hearing to hundreds of thousands of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals(3).
How It Works
The Argus II system was designed to restore some functional vision to individuals living with retinitis pigmentosa, which affects about one in 4,000 Americans. The disease causes vision loss which eventually leads to total blindness.
Through the device, patients are able to see patterns of light, which the brain is then able to interpret as images. A miniature video camera stored in the patients glasses sends visual information to a small video processing unit, which is small enough to be stored in a pocket.
The video processing unit them turns the image to electronic signals, which are transmitted wirelessly to an electronic device implanted in the patient’s retina.
Ensuring Patient Safety
In 2013, the Argus II was given approval by the US Food and Drug Administration for use as a Humanitarian Use Device, or HUD.
But researchers needed to make sure that the device was totally safe to use, with no long-term health consequences for patients.
So a small clinical trial of 30 patients, between the ages of 28 and 77, was conducted over the past 3 years in the United States and Europe.
While 89 percent of the trial participants found that their vision improved significantly with the device, a Functional Low-vision Observer Rated Assessment (or FLORA) found that 80 percent of trial participants not only received a benefit of better vision, but better overall quality of life as well – and none of the trial subjects reported any adverse effects that were not successfully treated.
A Viable Treatment Option
In a recent press release, Allen C. Ho, the lead author of the study and director of the clinical retina research unit at Wills Eye Hospital, expressed hope that the Argus II could be considered a potential treatment option for future patients.
“This study shows that the Argus II system is a viable treatment option for people profoundly blind due to retinitis pigmentosa – one that can make a meaningful difference in their lives and provides a benefit that can last over time,” he said.
“I look forward to future studies with this technology which may make possible expansion of the intended use of the device, including treatment for other diseases and eye injuries.”(4)[mks_toggle title=”sources” state=”close “]
- Just One Night of Sleep Loss Is Enough To Alter The Genes In Your Cells
Many of us think very little of messing with our sleep schedules. Students pull all-nighters when studying for (or celebrating …
- Drinking More Than Two Diet Sodas Per Day Make You Twice As Likely To Get Heart Disease
A massive study led by researchers at Tufts University may give many people cause to consider cutting soft drinks out …
- According To This Psychologist, Coloring Is Very Effective At Reducing Stress And Here’s Why
Think back to your days as a child and remember all of the wonderful times you had siting at a …
- What Happened To This Family After They Started Eating Organic For 2 Weeks Straight Is Amazing!
While numerous studies have been done on the subject of pesticides in food and their impact they can have on …
- Tylenol Maker Admits To Selling Medicine Laced With Heavy Metals
Drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson closed a manufacturing plant in Fort Washington recently, while its subsidiary, McNeil, pleaded guilty to …
- Studies Show That Exercising Is The Best Way To Go About Removing Toxins From The Lymphatic System
There are two major circulatory systems in our bodies: the blood vascular system and the lymphatic system. While the blood …
- One Less Sugary Drink a Day Reduces Your Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes by Almost 20%
According to the World Health Organization(1), Diabetes affects 9% of the adult population worldwide. Of those afflicted, approximately 90% have …
- Researchers Warn Against The Use of This Popular Brand of Statins Because of Serious Side Effects
Have you ever looked into just how many drugs there are to treat heart disease? Go to any medical website …
- Researchers Successfully Identify Biomarkers In Spit That May Help Detect Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a disease with devastating effects, and the number of people suffering from it is only expected to rise over …
- Researchers Discover ‘Missing Link’ Between Brain and Immune System (This Changes Everything!)
A recent study has turned decades of medical education on its head by reporting a direct connection between the brain …
- As Weird As This May Sound, Regular Visits To The Dentist Could Help Keep Your Prostate Healthy
Prostatitis – chronic inflammation of the prostate – is one of the most common urological infections among adult men, with …
- Study Suggests That Prolonged Use of Paracetamol During Pregnancy Could Harm Male Babies
Paracetamol, a painkiller commonly prescribed to pregnant women because of its presumed safety, may affect the hormones of babies in …
- 3 Common Foods You Think Are Bad For You But Can Actually Help Lower Risk of Diabetes
Eggs and dairy are two foods that go together like “white” and “rice”. There are few things that mix better, …
- Researchers Discover That Plucking Hair In a Specific Pattern Helps Stimulate Regrowth
Baldness is a prospect that scares people more than most diseases and health disorders. The reason for this is that …
- Mom Wakes Up One Morning Blind. It’s All Because She’s Been Drinking Too Many Cans of Red Bull…
When Lena Lupari, a twenty-six year-old mother of three from Northern Ireland, started going blind, her doctors were quick to …