Published on 03/05/2012
The first UK clinical trials of an electronic eye implant have proved successful in patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the name given to a group of hereditary diseases of the retina - the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. About 25,000 families in the UK are affected by the condition, which eventually leads to incurable blindness.
But company Retina Implant AG has developed pioneering new technology designed to restore the sight of blind people.
It fitted two RP sufferers with the wireless device in mid-April as part of its UK trial. Patients were able to detect light immediately after the 3mm by 3mm microchip was activated. Further testing revealed that they were able to locate white objects on a dark background.
Now, Retina Implant AG says that these two patients are regaining ‘useful vision’ weeks just after undergoing the surgery, exceeding expectations. David Head, head of charity RP Fighting Blindness, said:
"The completion of the first two implants in the UK is very significant and brings hope to people who have lost their sight as a result of RP."
The sub-retinal implant technology has been in clinical trials for more than six years with testing also taking place in Germany. Ten more British sufferers will now be fitted with the device as part of the UK trial.
Developers are planning to seek commercial approval following this phase of testing.
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Medical