January Newsletter 315

Helping blind people hear the universe:

A new project that allows blind and partially sighted children and adults to ‘hear’ the Universe was launched in Dec 2021.

“The show takes the audience on an immersive journey inside a special spacecraft fitted with a ‘sonification machine’ that turns the light from objects in space into sounds.”

Low levels of vitamin A could cause vision problems:

Vitamin deficiency is an avoidable ailment that sets the stage for life-altering disease if left unmanaged. The risks of deficiency are wide-ranging, but lacking one vitamin could substantially increase the risk of blindness.


Hi-tech goggles that could beat glaucoma

Hi-tech goggles may be able to halt the progress of glaucoma, a common cause of sight loss. Worn for half an hour a day, they are designed to deliver pulses of electricity to the eye to stimulate the optic nerve to repair itself — and are now being used in a clinical trial. Researchers believe the treatment, which is backed by previous successful studies, will stop progression of the condition, which affects more than half a million people in the UK.


New treatment may save eyesight of children with Batten disease

Eight children born with a “devastating” genetic disease in Englandhave become the first in the world to receive a pioneering treatment aimed at stopping them from going blind. Doctors at Great Ormond Street hospital in London are trialling a drug they believe may save the eyesight of the children who have CLN2-type Batten disease. Brineura, already successful in animals, is being administered to four boys and four girls on a compassionate use basis.The groundbreaking treatment works by restoring a “missing” enzyme that nerves in the back of the eyes need to function. Clinicians and families hope a body of evidence built up over the next year will allow the drug to be offered more widely to children affected around the world.


New research gives hope for sight recovery in stroke survivors

Researchers have used MRI imaging to map visual brain activity in stroke survivors with sight loss that gives new hope for rehabilitation and recovery.