Saturday, December 12, 2015

Coloradan Receives Bionic Eye to Treat Retinitis Pigmentosa

"The Denver Post reported on December 10 that a Colorado woman received Colorado's first bionic eye transplant at the Eye and Vision Care Center of the University of Colorado. The patient, Ms. Jamie Carley suffers from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The degenerative disease rendered her virtually blind," reports the Examiner.

"The November surgery took over five hours. Surgeons implanted a microchip into the retina of one of Ms. Carley's eyes. When she wears specially designed glasses with an attached camera, the video images transmit to the microchip. In turn, the optic nerve is stimulated, with visual information then sent to her brain. Although she can not see normally, her vision is now good enough to see outlines and shadows. As she progresses through a long period of rehabilitation, surgeons hope she will improve her vision by using her brain to interpret the new optical signals. The surgery offers great hope for the future. Currently, it is prohibitively expensive. The implanted device alone cost $150,000. Moreover, the implant only works for patients afflicted with RP." Read more.

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