Many people affected by certain types of glaucoma, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and some other diseases lose a great deal of their vision due to neuropathy rather than from damage to the optical components of the eye. The nerve rich areas that can be affected are either in the brain’s regions that deal with vision or within the neuronal structures in the optic nerve. Turns out that a bit of electrical stimulation can get nerve cells that were otherwise dormant, but that survived the injury, to activate and become productive members of their community of cells.
EBS Technologies, a German firm, developed technology that takes advantage of this effect and it’s now going to become available for the first time at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The company’s NEXT WAVE system consists of an EEG cap, special goggles that provide both optical and electrical stimulation, and an EEG amplifier that talks to the goggles. The idea is to stimulate the retina while energizing the optic nerve to send signals to the brain. The EEG cap is used to monitor and adjust the effect of the therapy via a Supervisor Unit used by the therapist.
According to EBS Technologies:
In June 2013, EBS announced the results of a multi-center, 82-patient clinical trial of its NEXT WAVE™ brain stimulation device. About one-half of the clinical trial patients were given a 40-minute treatment protocol for 10 consecutive days with the NEXT WAVE™ device. With an average increase of 24 percent of the total visual field, NEXT WAVE™-treated patients showed significantly better improvements in stimulation of their total visual field compared with patients in the control group who did not receive NEXT WAVE™ stimulation. All patients had vision impairment lasting at least six months prior to the clinical trial and had exhausted all standard therapeutic options to improve their vision.
Product page: EBS Therapy…
Press release: EBS Begins Commercialization of Its NEXT WAVE™ Brain Stimulation Device