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Research Update: Coordination of Eyesight with Implanted Chip in AMD Patients Shows Promise for Restoring Functional Vision

In February 2020, a researcher at Stanford University and his team “showed that with a thin, pixelated chip and specially designed glasses, they could restore limited vision in the center of the visual field of patients” with macular degeneration. In a follow up study, they found that those fitted with the prosthetic chip “are able to integrate what the chip ‘sees’ with objects their natural peripheral vision detects.” Patients in the study were able to identify colored lines in both the center and sides of their fields of vision at the same time. These results imply that this treatment modality could help patients to gain the ability to resume using their functional vision to perform activities of daily living. Daniel Palanker, Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, stated that the fact that patients could see a “coherent image”…“’is very exciting,’” given that “all previous retinal implants created “’very distorted’ perception.” Dr. Palanker, the lead author of a paper reporting on these findings and published in Nature Communications, worked with a team of ophthalmologists in France. Macular degeneration affects 200 million people throughout the world, mostly older adults, who gradually experience loss of vision in the center of their visual field. Generally, peripheral, or side, vision can remain largely intact. Find out more about study results in the article from the Stanford Medicine News Center: Implanted chip, natural eyesight coordinate vision in study of macular degeneration patients. For the complete paper reporting on these research findings, read it in Nature Communications: Simultaneous perception of prosthetic and nature vision in AMD patients