Doi nevăzători pot vedea acum datorită unor implanturi de retine electronice

5 mai 2012

Extern, Prima pagină

Rezultatele unui test clinic de implant de retine electronice constituie o speranţă pentru nevăzători.

Două persoane, complet nevăzătoare, pot vedea acum. Nu este vorba nici de o acţiune divină, nici de promovarea vreunui medic şarlatan, ci de o intervenţie chirurgicală în urma căreia doi britanici şi-au recăpătat în oarecare măsură vederea, pierdută în urmă cu mulţi ani, scrie Le Point.

O parte a văzului le-a fost redată datorită unor implanturi oculare: ei pot zări lumina şi chiar câteva forme datorită unor dispozitive instalate în spatele retinei. Testul clinic, desfăşurat de Oxford Eye Hospital şi la King’s College Hospital din Londra, nu este chiar o premieră. Un finlandez a beneficiat deja de acest cip experimental şi a reuşit să distingă litere, dar implantul lui funcţiona doar în laborator. De această dată, dispozitivele cu care au fost echipaţi englezii sunt portabile.

Cei doi pacienţi şi-au pierdut vederea în urma unei infecţii, o retinită pigmentară, care provoacă alterarea progresivă a celulelor fotoreceptoare din spatele ochiului, până la orbirea totală. Operaţia chirurgicală la care au fost supuşi a constat în plasarea în spatele retinei a unui microcip electronic de 3mm2, cu 1.500 de pixeli sensibili la lumină, care înlocuieşte fotoreceptorii. Când lumina pătrunde în ochi şi ajunge la pixelii din cip, un semnal electronic este trimis la nervul optic care duce informaţia la creier.

Unul din pacienţi, Chris James, a vorbit despre un ‘moment magic’ atunci când a zărit primele flashuri de lumină: ‘Mă pot fixa pe o linie curbă sau dreaptă, dar mi-este greu să disting obiecte la distanţă. Este încă prea devreme şi trebuie să învăţ să interpretez semnalele trimise de cip creierului meu.’

Potrivit profesorului MacLaren, care a condus testul clinic, este prima dată că se obţine un asemenea rezultat pe pacienţi complet nevăzători, fără nicio vedere reziduală. ‘Aceşti pacienţi nu zăreau nicio lumină şi implantul le-a reactivat retina după mai mult de un deceniu de cecitate.

‘ Cipul electronic le permite să primească flashuri de lumină, iar formele percepute sunt alb-negru. Cel puţin aşa credeau oamenii de ştiinţă, înainte ca celălalt pacient, Robin Millar, să le spună că visează din nou în culori, prima oară după 25 de ani. El spune că zăreşte lumina care intră pe fereastra camerei sale. Este un lucru poate banal pentru cineva care vede, dar care ar putea fi extrem de util şi practic pentru nevăzători: ei s-ar orienta astfel singuri într-o cameră, cunoscând poziţia ferestrelor şi a uşilor.

 

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