DOCTORS have found a cure for blindness which involves implanting computer chips in patients’ skulls.
The ground-breaking surgery uses electrodes connected directly to the visual cortex of the brain.
2 Benjamin Spencer taking part in the trial
People can then see images beamed from a video camera on a pair of glasses — completely bypassing the eyes.
One participant in the trial, American Benjamin Spencer, 35, has been blind since the age of nine.
After seeing his wife and three daughters for the first time, he told the Daily Mail: “It is awe-inspiring to see so much beauty. I could see the roundness of my wife’s face, the shape of her body.
“I could see my kids running up to give me a hug. It is not perfect vision — it is like grainy 1980s surveillance video footage.
“It may not be full vision yet, but it’s something.”
The study was carried out by the Baylor College of Medicine in Los Angeles.
Professor Daniel Yoshor said: “The idea is if we cleverly stimulate individual spots in the brain with electrodes, we can actually reproduce visual forms.”
Helen Lee, of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: “We welcome this innovative technology. It could be life changing for many people, but it is very early days.
Robust trials are needed to assess both the benefits and the adverse effects.”
But Professor Glen Jeffery, a visual scientist at University College London, said the large-scale benefits may be minimal.
2 Mr Spencer said it was ‘awe-inspiring to see so much beauty’
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He said: “You may be able to see large objects, or large letters.
“But people are not going to be able to read a newspaper with this.”
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