News & Info


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August 4, 2015

Top 10 Misconceptions About Blindness

Posted in: Latest News

Pop quiz from Orcam . . . You’re at a dinner party and your host introduces you to one of the other guests in attendance. The other guest is holding a white cane and wearing sunglasses so you come to the conclusion that they are blind. What do you do? A. Begin conversing with the
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July 28, 2015

When News is Slow

Posted in: Latest News

Editorial by Dan Roberts Someone once said, “No news is good news.” And, as I tend to do with most bromides, I probably nodded sagaciously in agreement. But wait . . . What if I’m waiting for news of my lost cat? Or the end of a storm? Or of a ground breaking discovery? Is
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July 19, 2015

Trash-Collecting Cells May Accelerate Retinitis Pigmentosa

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

NIH research points to microglia as potential therapeutic target in retinitis pigmentosa Spider-like cells inside the brain, spinal cord and eye hunt for invaders, capturing and then devouring them. These cells, called microglia, often play a beneficial role by helping to clear trash and protect the central nervous system against infection. But a new study
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June 24, 2015

Orcam Now Available in the U.S.

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

In November 2013, an article appeared here about OrCam, a camera-based system which allows the visually impaired to both read and identify objects with a point of a finger. The device is a small camera connected by a thin cable to a portable computer in the wearer’s pocket. The system clips on to the wearer’s
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June 19, 2015

Cheaper Substitute for Lucentis Developed in India

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

Intas Pharmaceuticals, a company based in India, has launched RAZUMAB™, an anti-VEGF drug that is “biosimilar” to Lucentis. This means that RAZUMAB has a synthesized chemical structure that can substitute for, but not duplicate, Lucentis. To make biosimilarity possible, scientists must show that the new product is highly similar and have no significant differences from
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June 19, 2015

New Device Helps Blind People See With Their Tongues

Posted in: Latest News

The Food and Drug Administration has announced marketing approval of a new device that can help orient people who are blind by helping them process visual images with their tongues. The BrainPort is a battery-powered device that includes a video camera mounted on a pair of glasses and a small, flat intra-oral device containing a
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June 3, 2015

ACB Radio Features News About LowViz Guide

Posted in: Latest News

This coming Friday, June 5, ACB Radio will bring latest news from the world of technology. David Tanner and the production team will feature a vast variety of demonstrations and interviews, including a discussion with Dan Roberts, creator of the new indoor wayfinding app, LowViz Guide. The show begins at 9:00 PM (EDT). ACB Radio
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May 27, 2015

New Free Apps Are Making Life Easier

Posted in: Latest News

MD Support recently launched LowViz Guide, a free indoor way-finding app for attendees at low vision conferences. And now, Novartis Pharmaceuticals has announced development of two apps that will make perfect partners. In collaboration with AMD Alliance International, the company has developed two free applications called ViaOpta Navigator and ViaOpta Daily. ViaOpta Navigator is a
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May 20, 2015

Summary of Research and Development – 2015

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

by Dan Roberts (Also available in audiovisual format) INTRODUCTION This is my 10th annual summary of leading research and developments that have occurred during the past 12 months in the field of blindness and low vision. For more details about any of the reports, sources are provided. Many studies and clinical trials are moving ever
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May 14, 2015

MD Support’s LowViz Guide Offers Gift of Sight

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

For four days, Bill DeMaio could see through walls. And that’s really saying something, considering that he has no eyesight. Until May 10, 2015, Bill could find his way around an unfamiliar building only by either asking people for directions or hoping to find Braille signs. But then, on the first day of the 2015
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May 7, 2015

L-DOPA May Slow Development of AMD

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

The color (pigmentation) of the retina, or lack thereof, is thought to play a role in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The substance that provides pigmentation is melanin, and a precursor to the pigment melanin is called L-DOPA. Since L-DOPA converts into dopamine in the brain, it has been used as a treatment
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May 5, 2015

Learn About Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exams

Posted in: Latest News

People of all ages should have their eyesight tested to keep their vision at its best. Children usually have vision screening in school or at their pediatrician’s office. Adults, however, may require more than vision screening. Even if your vision seems fine, the only way to know for sure that your eyes are healthy is
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May 1, 2015

Stem Cell Therapy Shows Positive Results In Asian Patients

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. (now owned by Acucela) has announced positive results in four Asian patients who were treated with the company’s proprietary RPE stem cells. These new data support previously reported positive long-term safety and signs of visual improvement, as reported here in October 2014. The Korean study, published online in Stem Cell Reports, features
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April 13, 2015

That All May Read

Posted in: Latest News

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) provides books and magazines in Braille and talking-book formats to half a million US citizens who can’t read standard print because of visual or physical disabilities. A patron may choose to receive books free through the mail or download them from NLS’s Braille and
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April 3, 2015

Phase 2 Stem Cell Trial To Be Initiated

Posted in: Latest News, Therapies, Treatments, and Procedures

Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. (now owned by Acucela) announced on March 31, 2015 that the company has completed dosing of its Phase 1/2 studies for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Stargardt’s Macular Degeneration (SMD). A total of 38 patients have been safely dosed. The 200,000 cell cohort, the highest level planned, was successfully completed, paving
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