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Optic-Nerve Stimulation For the Blind

Optic-Nerve Stimulation For the Blind

A recent article published last month (August 19, 2019) in Nature1 reports a potential way to aid the blind by stimulating the optic nerve. The researchers placed an intraneural electrode array intraneurally to directly induce distinct electrical stimulation to the optic nerve, recording patterns via an electrocorticography (ECoG) array. Previous studies2 on stimulating the optic nerve did not yield conclusive results as the electrodes were placed around the nerve, whereas in this study the electrodes are surgically placed through the optic nerve, making them more stable and less likely to shift around. As only in its preliminary stages of the study, further investigations of electrically stimulating the optic nerve are needed for determining the restoration of vision in blind patients.




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