Retinal diseases (retinal dystrophy) : Treatment and bionic eye - The Chrono leaks

Retinal diseases (retinal dystrophy) : Treatment and bionic eye

The system of prosthesis retinal Argus II is intended to electrically stimulate the retina.

but why ?

Simply in order to trigger a visual perception in people who are blind due to retinal diseases.

After several successful testing in France and in the United States, a patient has received for the first time in Quebec.

At the age of 26 years, Sandra Cassell was diagnosed with retinal dystrophy.

But What is retinal dystrophy in 2017( August 29) ? 

 retinal dystrophy is a degenerative disease of the retina that leads to blindness (in most cases in children).

Under this term are designated of degenerative disorders ranging from diffuse or localized to the photoreceptor cells of the retina are the cones and the rods.

There is not at present a cure for retinal dystrophies and the latter became blind. Due to the complexities in the gene panel.

Last may, she was selected to benefit from a system of prosthetic retina. Called Argus II, marketed by the u.s. company Second Sight, which enabled him to find a visual perception.

The delicate operation was conducted by members of the university Centre for ophthalmology of the University of Montreal (CUO), the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (Quebec).

“This technological innovation represents a new hope for all those who have become blind due to a degenerative disease of the retina.”, says Dr. Isabelle Hardy, medical chief of the CUO(retinal dystrophy specialist).

The system Argus II is a camera mounted on glasses that transforms the images into electrical impulses with the aid of a small computer that the patient wears on him.

The pulses are then transmitted to an implant installed on the retina, which stimulates the perception of light in the brain.

A visual rehabilitation is mandatory(retinal dystrophy cure )

The goal of this electrical stimulation is to bypass the dead cells and stimulate the retinal cells in residual viable. The patient’s vision is not clear, but he regained some visual function.

Because the implant improves the ability of a blind user to carry out normal daily activities, allowing, for example, of recognizing shapes or large objects, locate people and track lines, or to distinguish contours.

(A Possible Retinal dystrophy treatment) ?

The Argus II is the first retinal artificial, or “bionic eye,” to receive a market approval in Europe (CE marking in 2011) and the first and unique implant in retinal to be authorized in the United States (2013), and in Canada.

But after the successful implantation, the patient must still learn to use this system: the latter must know how to interpret the visual patterns that it receives.

Thus, in the last few weeks, Sandra Cassell has worked closely with specialists for “relearning to see”. They made her take several years of rehabilitation and re-education so that his brain learns to interpret all the new information which are sent to him.

“It is a long process and much depends on the motivation of the person. When all favourable conditions are present, we can expect a significant improvement.”, underline the researchers.(retinal dystrophy specialist )

Already implanted in 18 patients in France

Other steps are already underway to select the next patient, with the medical conditions and cognitive requirements.(mostly cases of retinal dystrophy in a child )

In France, this prosthesis retinal has already been talking about it since between 2014 and 2016, 18 people have already received in the framework of the “package innovation”, which was launched three years ago by Marisol Touraine, the minister of Health.

The latter consists of a specific programme, which allows you to accelerate the availability of innovative technologies for the patients.

The operations were conducted at the Centre hospitalier national d’ophtalmologie (CHNO) des Quinze-Vingts in Paris, the CHU of Bordeaux and the CHU of Strasbourg.

Patients were all suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a serious inherited disease that causes gradual degeneration of light-sensitive cells in the retina.

The 7 women and 11 men chosen, aged from 29 to 73 years of age, have all had good postoperative course and are for the most part, already in the phase of rehabilitation.

In total, 36 patients blind patients with retinitis pigmentosa can benefit from this “bionic eye”, a study validated by the High Authority of Health (HAS).

In an opinion issued in 2012, the latter stated that it would not support a generalized assumption of this device because of the results “encouraging but not yet conclusive, particularly in terms of improving the quality of life of patients.”

This is why it awaits the final results of this national study to conclude on its effectiveness.


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