As a retinal implant, the ARGUS II technology has shown early benefits for patients with retinitis pigmentosa. A new study from the United Kingdom is examining its benefits in patients with the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Paulo E. Stanga, MD, from the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, discussed his workin this trial during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago, IL. One of the biggest challenges, according to Stanga, for the five patients is balancing their residual peripheral vision with the central visual function which the device provides.
What is the latest in ARGUS II development?
In Manchester at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital I’m conducting the only trial at present with the use of electronic operational device in patients with severe loss of vision, secondary to the dry form of age related macular degeneration.
What is involved in this work?
Ourselves, we’ve started working with the ARGUS II technology from second sight back in 2009. We are still part of the international trial.
However, in June 2015 I carried out the first implantation ever of an electronic retinal prosthesis in a patient without complete loss of vision.
Who was included in this research?
This group of patients that I’ve implanted, five patients, all patients with the severe form of dry age related macular degeneration and severe loss of vision are the first ever human beings with vision to experience artificial vision.
Opposite to the patients with retinitis pigmentosa that have been implanted so far that have vision of only perception of light which in real life means blindness, these patients have maintained their peripheral vision.
What were the challenges in this work?
One of the challenges was whether patients with residual peripheral vision were going to be able to integrate the newly acquired central visual function with their residual peripheral vision.
What results have you seen so far?
So far the five patients that I have implanted have been able to achieve so. We’ve got a follow up of between 5 and 15 months.