News, Links and Commentary

Monday, April 09, 2007

Deafblind International Conference in Western Australia 

Senses Foundation is hosting the 14th Deafblind International World Conference from 25 - 30 September 2007 here in Perth, Western Australia, at the Burswood Convention Centre. The theme is Ending the Isolation - fitting given that Perth is said to be the most isolated city in the world. For more information and to find out how to volunteer at the event, visit http://www.dbiconference2007.asn.au/.

(3) comments | Links to this post

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Mango in the Dark 

Jacqueline McGrath is a freelance journalist who has retinitis pigmentosa. McGrath reviewed the Parisian restaurant Dans Le Noir?' - yet another place where diners can eat in total darkness. I sometimes find it difficult to manage a knife and fork in the dark, but I can't imagine making this mistake:

?That is watermelon, isn?t it?? I asked the young man. ?Absolutely,? he replied. (A glance at the bar?s chalkboard menu on my way out told me it was mango.) The meat on our plate was equally enigmatic. I sniffed the morsel on my fork ?Chicken?? I asked. ?Most likely duck,? the young man volunteered. (The chalkboard menu convinced me it was guinea hen.)

'Dining in the dark: Traveler's Check: Dans Le Noir?' (Kansas City Star, 5 November 2006).

(1) comments | Links to this post

Retinal Transplants in Mice 

Researchers from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and the University of Michigan Medical School have successfully transplanted retinal cells in mice with genetic forms of retinal degeneration. The researchers hope that this could lead to a treatment for retinal degeneration in humans within the next decade. Instead of using stem cells, the researchers are investigating the use of cells taken from the retina and that can be grown and then transplanted.

Scientists have recently found cells on the margin of the retina in humans that have stem-cell like properties and could potentially be grown in the lab to become photoreceptor precursor cells for treatment.

"Rather than focusing on stem cells we believed that if we could understand how cells develop and become photoreceptors ... our transplantation efforts would meet with greater success," says Professor Anand Swaroop, of the University of Michigan Medical School and a co-author of the study.

'Blind mice see again after transplant' (Reuters at ABC Online, 9 November 2006.

The research is published, in letters to the editor, in the November 9 2006 issue of Nature

(1) comments | Links to this post

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Better Off 

Blogger Gordon C. Cardona has recently regained some sight after three years "of lights and shadows." In Too Blind To See? (24 October, Gordon's D-Zone) he argues that regaining sight does not necessarily make his life 'better', as many people presume.

(1) comments | Links to this post

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Macular Degeneration - A Book For Patients 

For many years Dan Roberts has offered support to people, like himself, who have macular degeneration through the MD Support Web site. Dan has sought advice from professionals about new treatments and adaptive technology so that he can offer information to visitors. He has also maintained a forum, discussion list and chat group so that people with MD can support and learn from each other.

Dan's expertise is now available in a book, called The First Year - Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. The subjects he covers include strategies for slowing AMD, current research, approved and experimental treatments, adaptive technology and rehabilitation, coping with depression and stress, and driving and mobility.

The First Year - Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed by Daniel L. Roberts is available through Amazon and is published by Marlowe and Company, New York, New York.

(4) comments | Links to this post

Diary of an MD Patient Treated with Avastin 

New Zealander Simon James is about to undergo his second treatment with Avastin for myopic macular degeneration. Simon is 22 years old and significantly younger than most people affected by macular degeneration. You can read about his treatment, which has so far brought positive results, in My Eyes Diary.

Avastin is the drug produced by Genentech and which some ophthalmologists are using as a cheaper alternative to Genentech's Lucentis.

(1) comments | Links to this post

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stargardt's Australia 

Australians who have Stargardt's Disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration, now have a source of online support. Vaughan H from Sydney has set up a non-profit organisation called Stargardt's Australia.

The Web site includes personal stories, research news and forums. Vaughan has visited the United States to receive Echothiophate (Echo) Therapy and the site also provides information about this therapy.

(1) comments | Links to this post

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nintendo's Mainstream Audio Games 

A review of Nintendo's Sound Voyager mini-games is at AudioGames.net.

(1) comments | Links to this post

Monday, July 31, 2006

German Implant Research 

German researchers are continuing work on a retinal implant, according to English-language site Deutsche Welle:

... researchers at the RWTH Aachen University of Technology developed a special device for sufferers of retinitis pigmentosa. The prosthetic consists of two parts: a high-tech pair of glasses and an implant that is surgically placed in the eye.

A tiny video camera is built into the glasses, along with an encoder that converts images into signals the nerves understand. The signals are then sent wirelessly to a receiver that has been implanted into the ocular lens.

The signals are then transferred to a micro contact film via a miniscule cable. These lie directly on the retina and stimulate with electrodes the nerve cells that lead to the optic nerve.

'Retinal Implants Are Ray of Hope for the Blind' 30 July 2006.

The article says that the implants are being tested on animals and gives information about other research into retinal implants.

(1) comments | Links to this post

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?