LONDON: A ray of hope for millions of visually challenged people worldwide! A new drug to treat common forms of blindness is all set to go for clinical trial.
Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed the drug to treat eye diseases affecting the elderly and diabetics, such as age-related muscular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic etinopathy, the British media reported today.
The research team, led by professor Dave Bates and Dr Steve Harper of the university's Microvascular Research Laboratories, has identified a novel, naturally occurring form of a compound which inhibits the formation of new blood vessels — a major cause of the "wet" type of AMD and also diabetic retinopathy.
The news of the drug comes just days after scientists had claimed that a bionic eye. The device consists of three elements. First, a miniature camera worn in a pair of dark glasses, which transmits images to a radio receiver implanted near the patient's eye. This then sends a signal on to a tiny chip that sits on the retina.
The chip's electrodes stimulate the ganglion cells that transmit visual information to the optic nerve and onwards to the brain.
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