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Scientists developing device to restore sight

Tests on a device that could restore sight to patients suffering from a common cause of blindness have produced "encouraging" results.

A prosthetic retina designed to combat the impact of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is being developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde and Stanford University in California.

One in every eight people aged over 85 have AMD, while one in 500 people aged 55-64 also have it.

The device electrically stimulates the neurons in the retina left unscathed by the effects of AMD, while an infrared beam transmits information.

Initial tests were "encouraging", according to research in the journal 'Nature Photonics'.

Dr Keith Mathieson, a lead researcher on the project, said: "The device can take advantage of natural eye movements that play a crucial role in visual processing."

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