Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
Archive for the Prosthetics Category

Bionic Vision Down Under

Participant in BVA human trialIt’s an exciting time in the world of bionic retinas, which are enabling people with blinding retinal diseases to perceive patterns of light. This, in turn, allows them to interpret basic shapes and objects, thereby improving their mobility and independence. Second Sight’s Argus II is available in the United States and Europe, and Retina Implant AG’s Alpha IMS is also on the market in Europe. Many research groups around the world are developing devices as well.
Continue Reading…

Nouvelle Lumière: French Bionic Retina in a Human Study

A rendering of Pixium's IRIS device.There’s no doubt that 2013 was a milestone year for bionic retinas. Previously approved for sale in Europe, Second Sight’s Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System received marketing approval in February from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Also, in July, Retina Implant AG gained European marketing approval for its Alpha IMS retinal implant.
Continue Reading…

The Foundation’s Center Grants Foster Essential Retinal Research Collaborations

Question: How many researchers does it take to develop a retinal-disease treatment? (No, this isn’t a politically incorrect joke.) The answer is near the end of this article, but no looking ahead!
Continue Reading…

The OrCam Device: Giving Back Functionality

Woman wearing the orcamHere, at Eye on the Cure, we’ve recently written quite a bit about retinal prosthetic devices, or “bionic retinas,” whether FDA-approved or works-in-progress. But there’s another new device for the visually impaired, a form of assistive technology, that’s neither disease-specific nor requires an implant. And it’s already on the market, at a relatively low price. It’s called OrCam.
Continue Reading…

Patient Registries Help Advance Research for Rare Diseases

Image of Keyboard and StethiscopeRare disease research is challenging, because patient information about the conditions is inherently limited. Patient recruitment for clinical trials can be especially difficult, because so few people are affected.

To address these issues, a number of foundations, patient advocacy groups and governmental institutions have launched online registries to collect patient information for use by researchers, doctors and public health experts.
Continue Reading…

The Argus II is Approved. What’s Next for Bionic Retinas?

A Retinal Implant developed by Retina Implant AGAs the Foundation reported back in February, the Argus II retinal prosthesis, developed by Second Sight Medical Products, received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

For those of us on the front lines of fighting blindness — whether we’re raising funds, conducting  research or stand to personally benefit from the results — the device’s approval is one of the most exciting milestones in vision restoration ever achieved.
Continue Reading…

Proving a Vision-Saving Treatment Works

Dr. Hendrik Scholl conducts an electroretinogram, or ERG, with a patient at the Wilmer Eye Institute.I am very excited about ProgSTAR, the Foundation’s new study monitoring and documenting the progress of vision loss and retinal changes in people with Stargardt disease. On the surface, the study might not sound very exciting, because it isn’t evaluating a potential cure. However, the information gleaned from ProgSTAR will be of enormous value in designing future clinical trials for Stargardt disease treatments.
Continue Reading…

Staying Alive: Saving Retinal Cells to Preserve Vision

Woman Receives Eye dropsResearchers are developing a number of promising treatment approaches for blinding retinal diseases, which include: correcting genetic defects; replacing lost retinal cells with new ones; and implanting electronic chips, like the recently FDA-approved Argus II. But, sometimes, saving vision simply comes down to keeping retinal cells alive, or at least slowing their degeneration. Known as “neuroprotection,” this approach isn’t just for the retina — it has the potential to preserve and protect all kinds of neural cells, including brain tissue and cells of the central nervous system.
Continue Reading…

Moving Vision-Saving Treatments Out to the People Who Need Them

A lab technician“Translational research” is the mantra for many of the retinal scientists funded by the Foundation Fighting Blindness. In a nutshell, the phrase refers to the advancement of vision-saving therapies from laboratories into clinical trials and out to the people who need them.
Continue Reading…

History in the Making

Argus II Fundus ImageWhen it comes to restoring vision in people with retinal diseases, history isn’t made overnight. Treatments and technological advances have to, first, be tested in labs, and then in clinical, or human, trials. And how quickly they move through the process depends on how readily they’re funded, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. So, making a treatment or device available to the general public takes years, if not decades. Which is why we, at FFB, are so excited about last week’s announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted market approval of the Argus II retinal prosthesis.
Continue Reading…