A new chip will allow recovery of sight for certain patients.
Five patients blinded by degenerative diseases have partially recovered vision after implantation of a chip that emulates the function of the retina.
Vision Pixium French company has successfully performed the implant, which consists of a small camera mounted in glasses that captures visual signals and a chip is divided into two parts, converts these images into electrical signals that stimulate neurons and create images in the brain, reported the station “France Info”.
A portion of the chip is installed on the surface of the eyeball while the second, consisting of fifty electrodes placed on the optic nerve.
The first patient to undergo this revolutionary operation in France has been a 58 year old woman, identified as Barbara, who lost his vision two decades ago and now, seven months after the intervention, and can recognize objects, shapes, lights and contours.
“It’s something exceptional. Troduced After I saw the device appear a flash and felt a thrill, it was like a miracle,” he said in a statement issued today by the radio station.
In time, the implant, which is in experimental stage, can only be used in people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that is the most common cause of inherited retinal degeneration and usually occur from age 60.
Its origin is an alteration of genes, causing degeneration and apoptosis (cell death) of photoreceptors (retinal cells), Canes (responsible for peripheral vision field), and in the final stages of cones (central vision), which causes blindness.
I.e. the device is not suitable for those who are born blind or suffer ailments unrelated to retinal lesions, since it serves to run the memory to recreate visual images from the flashes that the brain receives.
In this sense, one of the founders of Pixium Vision, Bernard Gilly, told “France Info” that this medical technology could be adapted in the future to treat most common forms of progressive blindness.
“We’re working on a new generation of devices. The idea is to reach a view as normal as possible to allow the patient to go out without problems, recognize people, shopping or reading,” said Gilly.
As indicated by the station, if clinical trials continue in the right direction-the prototype in which only two other companies working in the world, will begin to be marketed from next to a price of 100,000 euros year.
Important: The device is not suitable for those who are born blind.