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Bionic eye patients speak of progress and delight

image-toolsThe first three patients implanted with a bionic eye prototype by the Bionic Vision Australia consortium (including CERA) have spoken of their progress in a video and article featured in The Age and other national media.

Dianne Ashworth, Murray Rowland and Maurice Skehan spoke of how their vision has progressed after initially only seeing flashes or spots of light as each of the 20 electrodes in their prototype bionic eye were activated for testing.

Now, they can locate shapes on a screen after the device’s camera was connected with a stimulator to produce an image.

The bionic eye works differently for every patient, so the Bionic Vision Australia research team need to tailor it for each individual. The differences are likely due to the length of time a patient has been blind, how much neural tissue is left, and the eye’s health.

Each of the three patients have the degenerative eye condition retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a disease which currently has no cure or effective treatment. They have advanced RP, which  means they can perceive only a degree of light and dark.

CERA’s Deputy Director and member of the Bionic Vision Australia Leadership Group, Professor Robyn Guymer, said it is very pleasing to see progress in each of the patients.

“You can see in each of the patients how much the project means to them and we are very grateful for their patience and support,” she said.

To view the video and read more on the Bionic Vision Australia project from each of the patients, please follow the link here: http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/delight-in-bionic-sight-20130915-2tswc.html