The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Community News Network

February 14, 2013

Bionic eye implant approved to help sight lost by rare disease

WASHINGTON — Adults with a rare eye disease may regain the ability to do daily tasks such as walking on the sidewalk from the first implanted artificial retina to win U.S. regulatory approval.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System from closely held Sylmar, Calif.- based Second Sight Medical Products Inc. to replace the function of degenerated cells in the retina, the agency said Thursday in a statement. The system helps adult patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa, which damages light-sensitive cells that line the retina located at the back of the eye, causing a gradual loss of vision that may lead to blindness.

The device consists of a video camera, a transmitter mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, a video processing unit and an implanted retinal prosthesis. The processing unit transforms images into electronic data that is transmitted to the artificial retina, the FDA said.

"This is a game changer in sight-affecting diseases, that represents a huge step forward for the field and for these patients who were without any available treatment options until now," Robert Greenberg, president and chief executive officer of Second Sight, said in a statement.

The system won't restore sight. It gives patients the ability to perceive the difference between light and dark, the FDA said. A clinical study of 30 people showed the Argus helped patients recognize large letters or words, detect street curbs, walk on a sidewalk without falling and match black, gray and white socks.

Of the 30 patients in the study who were followed for two years, 19 experienced no side effects, while others experienced adverse events such as retina detachment, surgical wounds that split open and erosion of the clear covering of their eyeballs.

The Department of Energy, the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation collaborated to provide $100 million to support the development of the Argus system, the FDA said.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo