Retinitis future or investigational therapies

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ilan Dock, B.S.

Overview

Future and investigational therapies for retinitis include retinal prosthesis, bionic eyes, artificial vision, and retinal chips. A recently released apparatus, called Argus II, consists of a camera placed along a patients glasses' frame. The camera then sends information to a processing unit which is transferred to a microchip implanted in a patient's eye. Other therapies are focused on photoreceptor transplantation or activation of the induction of light sensitivity to retinal cells.[1]


Future or Investigational Therapies

  • Many of the efforts directed towards retinitis future and investigational therapies are aimed towards curing or preventing genetic, retinal disorders.
  • Research efforts have been focused on gene therapy in order to slow or prevent any progression of the disease.
  • Photoreceptor transplantation has also been an explored option. However studies have yet to show any viable benefits resulting from the procedure.
  • Studies have found that many retintis pigmentosa patients maintain ocular to brain connections even after photoreceptors die. Researchers therefore are attempting to develop options that will allow for the individual to bypass the photoreceptors by inducing the remaining cells to become light sensitive. These projects are termed optogenetic projects and have not yet entered further clinical investigation.
  • Other methods include retinal prosthesis, bionic eyes, artificial vision, and retinal chips.[1]
  • A recent device, Argus II, has recently been approved by the FDA for usage with RP patients.
  • The device consists of a camera placed along a patients glasses' frame. The camera then sends information to a processing unit which is transferred to a microchip implanted in a patient's eye.
  • Another investigational device, approved only in Europe, is the Alpha IMS retinal implant.
  • This device capture light rays and translates the rays to retinal neurons.
  • Unfortunately the device requires alterations and improvements as visual improvement has only been recognized in a third of the implanted patient population.[1]


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Retina Health Series. Retinal Prosthesis. American Society of Retina Specialists. https://www.asrs.org/patients/retinal-diseases/8/retinitis-pigmentosa-and-retinal-prosthesis. Accessed April 19th, 2016.




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