Eye implants restore 'useful sight' to two blind patients

Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 13:30 in Health & Medicine

Doctors, led by Kings College and Oxford surgeons, restore rudimentary monochrome vision to trial patients The first blind patients to be fitted with electronic eye implants in a UK clinical trial have regained "useful vision" only weeks after surgery.Chris James was able to see outlines of objects for the first time in 20 years after surgeons fitted him with the device during an eight-hour operation.The 51-year-old from Wiltshire, who lost his sight to the disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP), is one of two patients taking part in the first UK trial of the technology that began in April.Doctors said that both patients showed improvements in their eyesight that "exceeded expectations".James, who works for Swindon borough council, was diagnosed with RP in his mid-20s. His sight gradually deteriorated until he was blind in the left eye and could tell only light from dark in the right. He has never seen his wife...

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