Hidden Nook

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Artificial Eyes Could Restore Site

[Media Source*]

HealthDay News -- An "artificial retina" is helping six previously blind patients detect light, identify objects and perceive motion, researchers announced Friday.

"If you project a long, 2-foot bar of light on a projector, they can tell which way the light bar moves, right or left, up or down. They can detect motion," said lead researcher Dr. Mark Humayun, an ophthalmology professor at the University of Southern California's Doheny Eye Institute and Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

This technology is showing some promising signs and is about two to four years away from the market. The "artificial eye" has enabled patients to make out objects with 74-99% accuracy and distinguish simple shapes with 61-80% accuracy.

The device itself consists of eyeglasses with a tiny camera fitted in the eyeglass frame as well as a pocket-worn battery. A tiny chip is implanted behind the ear and a wire runs from the ear device under the skin to the retina, Humayun said. Vision data from the camera is transmitted to the chip, which acts as a receiver, in turn transmitting the information along the wire to the eye, where an intraocular implant receives the data and excites the remaining nerve cells of the retina, Humayun said.

As their are millions of people around the nation (and millions more around the globe) who suffer from varies eye diseases, this technology would be a sign of hope giving site to those who have once lost it before. This technology is probably expensive, so government subsidies should be considered as this would enable those of a lower economic level to be able to purchase these artificial eyes, giving everyone the opportunity to have their vision restored.

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By Darnell Clayton • 8:35 PM • Email Post • •


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