Wednesday, February 27, 2013

News Flash- Artificial Retina Argus 2 Approved by FDA

There's been big news about the FDA giving the ok to the Argus 2 retinal implant.  This actually restores sight to those blinded from RP.  Briefly- its a tiny photoreceptor chip implanted into the retina, and transmits electrical signals into the brain. The resulting artificial sight is crude and at a stage where just simple shapes and lines can be seen, so its useful for navigation and everyday tasks requiring sight. Something more or less like whats below... 

Some kind of sense... simulation of the artificial Retinal implant
Its an amazing mixture of biology and technology, there's a video camera and geeky looking eyeglasses.  I guess I could carry off the cyborg look by imagining its merely some super cool vaporware product under development, with streaming data sets pouring into my keen eyes. In New York, Im not sure how long they'd last on the streets here before someon decided to snatch them off. Do they work well with skinny jeans?
It could be that I'll wind up implanted with something similar one day, but as far as treatments go, genetic therapy seems more likely to restore vision to those of us with RP. I dont go to the RP bulletin boards and chat rooms any more. Newly diagnosed people need them for support and information.  And I'm tired of waiting for all those hope filled "promises of a treatment very soon", which never actualized. I need my life, my joy, my art, and stay as far as possible from the medical world and its terms and definations. The Argus 2 though, deserves bravos. My friend Raymond, who went blind from RP, might investigate this to restore his lost vision, and I guess its good to know that this cyber eye will improve in resolution, and will be there when I need it, its comforting of course.

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