What Are the Latest Treatments for Retinitis Pigmentosa?
December 15, 2011
Earlier this week, Scientific American published a roundup of exciting new technologies to help restore vision to individuals stricken with retinitis pigmentosa.
The article first discussed technology available from Retina Implant, AG, which recently got approval to extend the yearlong phase II human clinical trial of its retinal implant to additional European locations. It also struck a deal with Wills Eye Institute to undertake a clinical trial of its retinal implant technology in the United States.
The Retina Implant AG technology consists of a tiny microelectronic chip (0.1-millimeter thick), containing about 1,500 light-sensitive photodiodes, amplifiers and electrodes surgically inserted beneath the fovea (which contains the cone cells) in the retina’s macula region. The implanted chip helps generate at least partial vision by stimulating intact nerve cells in the retina. The nervous impulses from these cells are then led via the optic nerve to the visual cortex where they finally lead to impressions of sight.
Another technology discussed was the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System from Second Sight Medical Products, which is already approved for sale in Europe, and is currently undergoing FDA human clinical trials (expected to conclude in July 2014). Second Sight’s technology converts video images captured by a miniature camera—housed in a special pair of glasses worn by the patient—into a series of small electrical pulses transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes implanted on the retina’s surface. These pulses are intended to stimulate the retina’s remaining cells and create the perception of patterns of light in the brain.
Click here for the full article discussing these and other new technologies for treating retinitis pigmentosa.
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