The following is an excerpt.
For most of us, light-sensitive cells that line our retinas convert light rays into electrical impulses that travel through the optic nerve to the brain to be assembled into images. But for an estimated 1 in 4,000 people in the U.S. with a genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa, or RP, those cells are damaged, which most commonly impairs vision at night. What's more, treatment to prevent eventual (if unlikely) total blindness remains elusive.
Enter the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, which the FDA approved today [14 February 2013] to treat a very specific population: adults 25 and older with severe to profound RP who have bare or no light perception in both eyes but inner layer retinal function and a history of the ability to see forms.
View the original article here: FDA approves bionic eye for adults with rare genetic disease