September 26, 2019


New device is restoring some sight in people who are blind (Catherine Garcia, 9/26/19, The Week)

A clinical study is now underway at the University of California, Los Angeles. One of the volunteers is Jason Esterhuizen of South Africa, who became blind seven years ago due to injuries sustained in a car accident. For the trial, a device called the Orion was implanted over the visual cortex in Esterhuizen's brain. He wears a pair of sunglasses that are equipped with a small camera, and those images are transmitted to the Orion, which converts them into electrical pulses that stimulate electrodes in Esterhuizen's brain. This lets him see patterns of light, which are used as visual cues, Inside Edition reports.

Esterhuizen said he's able to see "little white dots on a black background. It's like looking up at the stars at night." The study's leader, Dr. Nader Pouratian, told Inside Edition trial participants are able to determine where crosswalks and doorways are, "all extremely meaningful events that can help these people regain some form of independence." 

Posted by at September 26, 2019 12:00 AM