Star Trek-style visor helps to see five blind patients again

A groundbreaking Star Trek-style visor has helped five patients fight a common cause of blindness to see again.

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The volunteers, all of whom had age-related macular degeneration, had participated in a trial with the & # 39; bionic & # 39; system from technology company Pixium Vision.

The director claims that the patients could read letters with the help of the gadget and said that they are all & # 39; very happy & # 39; were left behind.

The revolutionary device is in fact glasses equipped with a video camera and attached to a small computer processor.

But before they can transmit images, patients need a light-activated chip that is inserted behind their retina at the back of the eye.

This is because the pocket-sized processor converts the image into an infrared image that shines the glasses back into the eye.

Pulses then activate electrodes in the 2mmx2mm chip, through which the optic nerve carries the images to the brain.

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The technology mimics the sight that the blind Star Trek character used Geordi La Forge to help him see.

The revolutionary device is in fact glasses equipped with a video camera and attached to a small computer processor. But before they can transmit images, patients need a light-activated chip that is inserted behind their retina at the back of the eye

The revolutionary device is in fact glasses equipped with a video camera and attached to a small computer processor. But before they can transmit images, patients need a light-activated chip that is inserted behind their retina at the back of the eye

This is because the pocket-sized processor converts the image into an infrared image that shines the glasses back into the eye. Pulses then activate electrodes in the 2mmx2mm chip, through which the optic nerve carries the images to the brain

This is because the pocket-sized processor converts the image into an infrared image that shines the glasses back into the eye. Pulses then activate electrodes in the 2mmx2mm chip, through which the optic nerve carries the images to the brain

This is because the pocket-sized processor converts the image into an infrared image that shines the glasses back into the eye. Pulses then activate electrodes in the 2mmx2mm chip, through which the optic nerve carries the images to the brain

Pictured: Star Trek character Geordi La Forge, who was born blind and wore a visor in an episode of the scifi series that helps him see

Pictured: Star Trek character Geordi La Forge, who was born blind and wore a visor in an episode of the scifi series that helps him see

Pictured: Star Trek character Geordi La Forge, who was born blind and wore a visor in an episode of the scifi series that helps him see

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AMD is the most common cause of blindness and affects 600,000 people in the UK and around 11 million in the US.

Currently, there is no way to dry the & # 39; form of the condition – the same type tested in the trial by Pixium Vision.

The chip that it has developed contains nearly 400 electrodes – designed to excite & # 39; cells in the retina & # 39; to carry images to the brain.

It is implanted under the retina, where damaged photoreceptors are found. The company claims that the procedure is minimally invasive.

The patients involved in the study conducted at the Hopital des Quinze Vingts in Paris all had the & # 39; dry & # 39; form of AMD – the most common type.

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It affects the central part of vision with holes or & # 39; spots & # 39 ;, making daily activities such as reading and recognizing faces difficult.

The patients involved in the study conducted at the Hopital des Quinze Vingts in Paris all had the & # 39; dry & # 39; form of AMD - the most common type (a newer generation version of the system)

The patients involved in the study conducted at the Hopital des Quinze Vingts in Paris all had the & # 39; dry & # 39; form of AMD - the most common type (a newer generation version of the system)

The patients involved in the study conducted at the Hopital des Quinze Vingts in Paris all had the & # 39; dry & # 39; form of AMD – the most common type (a newer generation version of the system)

Other trials of the Pixium Vision system, called Prima, are already underway in Pittsburgh and Miami, NewScientist reported

Other trials of the Pixium Vision system, called Prima, are already underway in Pittsburgh and Miami, NewScientist reported

Other trials of the Pixium Vision system, called Prima, are already underway in Pittsburgh and Miami, NewScientist reported

HOW DOES IT WORK?

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A surgeon first implants a small silicon chip with 378 electrodes behind the retina of a patient with macular degeneration related to dry age.

When the patient puts on the dark glasses of the system, an integrated video camera on the glasses sends images to a portable computer.

A connected & # 39; pocket processor & # 39; convert that shot into an infrared image, which then illuminates the glasses.

Impulses activate electrodes in the implant, winding up cells in the retina & # 39; to carry images to the brain through the optic nerve.

After surgery, patients must learn to use the system, but with practice, they can see black, white and gray shapes & # 39;

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The company, also based in the French capital, said no serious complications had been reported by any of the patients after 12 months.

During the discussion of the trial, the director of Pixium Vision told Lloyd Diamond NS medical devices: & # 39; The patients are very happy.

& # 39; There is of course some rehabilitation on their part to interpret the signals, but most see light and even patterns, numbers or letters where they did not before. & # 39;

However, their eyesight is still affected because the implant only takes images of less than 400 pixels.

He said that the chip – which works by converting light into electricity – does not move after it is implanted because tissue grows around it.

Diamond added: & # 39; An integrated mini camera on glasses is used to capture the visual environment.

The chip - which works by converting light into electricity - does not move after it is implanted because tissue grows around it

The chip - which works by converting light into electricity - does not move after it is implanted because tissue grows around it

The chip – which works by converting light into electricity – does not move after it is implanted because tissue grows around it

Pixium Vision said it is working on improving the algorithms involved in the system - and has recently announced a new generation device (photo)

Pixium Vision said it is working on improving the algorithms involved in the system - and has recently announced a new generation device (photo)

Pixium Vision said it is working on improving the algorithms involved in the system – and has recently announced a new generation device (photo)

WHY IS DRY MACULAR DEGENERATION?

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Dry macular degeneration is a common eye condition in people over 65 years of age.

It causes blurred or reduced central vision due to the thinning of the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for the direct line of sight of people.

More than 1.75 million people suffer in the US. The British prevalence of the condition is unclear.

The wet form of the condition occurs as a result of leaky blood vessels under the retina and causes more sudden loss of vision than the dry form.

Dry macular degeneration develops gradually and influences people's ability to do things such as reading, driving and recognizing faces.

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Symptoms are usually painless and include:

  • Visual distortions, such as straight lines that appear curved
  • Decreased central vision
  • Need for brighter light
  • Difficulty adapting to low lights
  • Blurred printed words
  • Decreased color brightness
  • Problems with recognizing faces

Dry macular degeneration usually affects both eyes in the end.

It rarely causes blindness because peripheral vision is not affected.

The cause is unclear and can be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as smoking.

It can be prevented through routine eye exams, managing conditions such as high blood pressure, no smoking, and eating well.

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There is no medicine.

The treatment may include a meeting with a rehabilitation specialist for the visually impaired or surgery to implant telescopic lenses.

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Source: Mayo Clinic

& # 39; This visual scene is processed and simplified by the pocket computer via algorithms powered by AI.

& # 39; This process extracts useful information, in a simplified format, from the images that are then sent back to the glasses. & # 39;

The digital projector then sends the images via pulses of infrared light, which activates the photovoltaic chip, he said.

After surgery, patients must learn to use the system, but with practice, they can see black, white and gray shapes & # 39;

Diamond said the company has a & # 39; aggressive & # 39; has a commercialization plan and hopes to launch its product in Europe and the US.

Other trials of the Pixium Vision system, called Prima, are already underway in Pittsburgh and Miami, NewScientist reported.

And another larger study is planned for next year, with the aim of registering patients at various eye care centers throughout Europe.

Pixium Vision said it is working on improving the algorithms involved in the system – and has recently announced a new generation device.

Retinal implants that restore some vision when they are blind are already available, but their quality is not good enough to work in many practical conditions.

Experts also hope that the implants can be used to treat retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary condition that slowly narrows vision.

It is after the Mail revealed earlier this month that doctors have restored eyesight to blind people by sending video images directly to the brain.

In a world first that offers hope to millions of patients, five men and a woman regained after years of & # 39; living in the dark & ​​# 39 ;.

They had electrode chips planted in the visual cortex at the back of their skulls that picked up images from a small video camera mounted in glasses.

Patients who have benefited from Orion technology include patients who have lost their eyesight due to glaucoma, trauma and infections.

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