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blindness

  1. Blind Man Regains Sight After Science Implants A Tooth Into His Eye

    Because WHY THE HECK NOT.

    Because science is totally insane and doesn't care what you think, they've decided to go ahead and start restoring sight in blind patients. And because science is really ridiculous, they're doing it by implanting teeth into eye sockets. Yep, that's what you do when you're just that crazy-awesome.

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  2. Scientists Use Coded Signals to Help Restore Sight in Mice

    The retina is, basically, the tissue at the back of your eye that translates light into neural signals that your brain can understand. The degeneration of the retina can cause blindness; people can no longer discern the signals needed to see out of light. Previous experiments have managed to recreate what healthy cells might do in the retina, but they didn't have the ability to effectively encode the light into signals. Two neuroscientists have crafted a prosthesis that has managed to do some of that lifting in blind mice that could eventually be developed for humans.

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  3. New Treatment For Hereditary Blindness Is First Drug To Restore Vision

    For the first time, scientists have been able to delay -- and in some cases reverse -- a hereditary blindness disorder called Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy using a daily drug treatment. The disease is a mitochondrial disease that causes the rapid onset of blindness in men in their twenties. It leads to total loss of vision within three to six months after the first symptoms begin to appear. This marks the first time that an inherited mitochondrial disease has been treated using a drug. Researchers from Newcastle University (UK) led by Patrick Chinnery conducted a clinical trial of the drug Idebenone. During the six month trial 55 people were given the drug, and 30 were given a placebo. The study showed that 11 people who received the drug were able to read an extra two lines of increased difficulty on a standard vision chart, and nine people who couldn't read at all were able to discern letters by the end of the trial. No negative side effects of the drug were reported. While the improvement of just 20 patients may not seem like much, it does suggest that Idebenone has a significant effect on restoring sight when the disease is caught in an early stage.

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  4. Blind Gamer Plays Video Games by Ear, is Actually Good at Them

    Two of my biggest fears (showing just how in check my priorities must be) are losing use of my eyes or hands, thus severing me from my gaming habits. Terry Garrett is blind, but he can still game, and luckily, he is still able to play some fairly good ones. Losing his sight when he was 10, his brother brought home the classic puzzler-platformer Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. Garrett attempted to play, though he was frustrated due to his lack of sight. Eventually, he honed his hearing and learned what each and every sound effect meant related to gameplay. Now, he can beat Abe's Oddysee without his sight, using sound alone. Though anyone who has played Abe's Oddysee will know that beating it with the use of sight is an accomplishment by itself, and beating it without is an extremely impressive feat, Garrett also plays other games that one would assume requires sight in order to succeed: He plays Wii Sports due to the game's haptic feedback and he is able to play Rock Band by using a trial-and-error button-mashing tactic to learn the song note charts.

    Garrett is currently trying to beat the historic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He didn't just turn the game on and cleanse the Deku Tree, though, he carefully listened to the sound effects as his friends played the game and asked them questions, as well as researched the game through text and video walkthroughs. Garrett has trouble with precise aiming, for instance, with the Hookshot, and almost as if a cruel gaming meme joke, he currently can't make it beyond the infamous Water Temple without outside help, though one can only assume he'll eventually tackle Nintendo's unholy creation in due time.

    Though he currently can't play games with too much audio stimuli or precise aiming, both of which are staples of many first-person shooters, Garrett is an inspiring story, and has quite possibly alleviated some of the fears that wake gamers up in the middle of the night in a deep sweat after dreaming about receiving their preordered copy of Portal 2 after losing use of their eyes.

    (Wired via Neatorama)

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