December 9, 2021

Beyond Going Long

Complete UK News World

Incredible advances in medicine. Brain transplant restores sight to blind women after 16 years

Contact The human mind with computers It is one of the biggest challenges today. Several scientific teams are working on such technologies, as well as visionaries like Elon Musk, who a year ago presented a prototype of a Neuralink implant in the brain. Obviously, progress in Bioengineering is constantly advancingThis opens up new and new possibilities for us.

An international group of scientists from Miguel Hernandez University in Spain, the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience and the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah have also taken up one very demanding bioengineering project. The portal drew attention to the topic BGR.

As the web writes ScienceAlertExperts implanted an optical prosthesis in the brain that “restored sight” to a blind woman after 16 long years. Obviously, the implant allowed the woman to see simple two-dimensional letters and shapes, which can be considered a huge success.

The researchers shared their findings and findings with the public through a study published in the journal Journal of Clinical Investigation. It should also be noted right away that the entire experiment took place in 2018, but scientists have only described the entire experiment in detail now.

The implant allowed the patient to see

The whole story of patient Berne Gomez began in 2003, when she developed toxic optic neuropathy, which quickly destroyed the nerves connecting her eyes to her brain.

John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah

At the age of 57, Gomez volunteered in 2018 as the first person to have miniature electrodes made up of hundreds of tiny needles implanted into the brain’s visual area. More specifically, the electrodes consist of an intracortical microelectrode array of 96 channels. Next, the electrodes in the brain implant stimulated the brain, allowing the woman who had been blind for 16 years to see. The prototype reached dimensions of 4 x 4 mm and was removed again after six months.

See also  The State Land Fund will be led by Moalemuddin Maroosh

The device in question, known as Moran | Artificial Cortivis, unlike retinal implants, completely bypasses the eye and optic nerve and leads directly to the source of visual perception. The entire neurosurgery was performed in Spain. For 6 months, the woman visited the professional laboratory for a full 4 hours a day, during which scientists regularly tested her and performed various tests.

During the first two months, Gomez learned to distinguish between the “spontaneous points of light” he sees here and there in his mind and the points of light generated by direct stimulation. After this period, the woman announced that she “saw” a light spot known as a phosphine (Editor’s note flashes before the eyes – “flies”). It turns out that if more than two electrodes are excited at the same time, Gomez can easily perceive the mentioned optical points. While some stimulation patterns were closely spaced, others resembled horizontal lines.

John A. Center. Moran Eye/University of Utah/Editing

According to experts, it was more difficult to evoke the vertical lines, but at the end of the whole experiment, the woman was said to be able to correctly distinguish between horizontal and vertical patterns. Depending on the intensity of the stimulus, the points of light were brighter or paler.

“The subject stated that the sensations have more elongated shapes as the distance between the stimulus electrodes increases. This indicates that the size and shape of the phosphine is not only a consequence of the number of stimulating electrodes, but also the result of their spatial distribution.” Quotes excerpt from the ScienceAlert portal study.

If up to 16 electrodes were simultaneously stimulated with different patterns, the patient was able to easily recognize the letters I, L, C, V, and O, and to distinguish between uppercase and lowercase O. Although no other letter velocity patterns have yet been detected. Research has shown that the way neurons in the brain are stimulated can help create two-dimensional images. The last part of the experiment is devoted to this part.

See also  Hamilton wins the Brazilian Grand Prix
New glasses helped too

The patient wore special glasses with a built-in miniature video camera, which scanned surrounding objects and stimulated different sets of electrodes in her brain through a prosthesis. Through this cutting edge technology, Gomez was able to distinguish between simple shapes.

as he writes University of Utah On her website, the patient was able to play a simple game in the form of a black and white maze, in which she moved with the help of visual images created by a prosthesis, or to accurately identify the edge of a black bar on a white background.

All indications are that this is a huge scientific achievement that has been accomplished without any negative effects. However, the researchers emphasized that they have many unanswered questions and problems that they need to solve.