A study conducted by Miguel Hernandez University (Spain) and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found an alternative way to restore sight for blind patients: through glasses that directly stimulate the cortex. In practice, the invention uses an “artificial retina” and detects light in front of its user.
The researchers tested the system on a 57-year-old woman who had been completely blind for more than 16 years. During the experiment, the patient was finally able to identify the shapes and silhouettes that were detected by the artificial retina. According to the study authors, the patient was also able to distinguish certain letters and even recognize the sizes of objects.
The implant is only 4 mm wide and both microelectrodes are 1.5 mm long. It penetrates the brain so that it can stimulate and monitor the electrical activity of neurons in the visual cortex. This implant did not otherwise affect the function of the cerebral cortex, nor did it stimulate other neurons.
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However, according to the claims of the experts involved themselves, there is a lot of work ahead before the technology can be used on a practical level, so scientists are now recruiting volunteers with different levels of visual impairment to conduct new experiments. Study can be accessed Here.
Source: New Atlas
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