How to Restore Vision to Patients with Dry Macular Degeneration

If you know anyone suffering from Macular Degeneration, you know the devastation it brings to slowly loose your central vision. A great deal of the cause is related to genetics, aging, sun exposure, smoking. Currently there is no cure. 

However, for patients who have lost central vision from dry Macular Degeneration, there may be hope.

Daniel Palanker, PhD, from Stanford University, is a friend of my sister’s, who is head of Oculoplastics at Stanford. She says he is a genius. She does not say that lightly. 

This study holds promise but is not a guarantee as with most studies. 

Here is the information for my patients to get connected to those leading the study. If I had dry ARMD (Age related macular degeneration), I would try this. Please tell them Dr. Cremers sent you. 


Dear Dr. Cremers,
I am writing to let you know about a notable advancement in vision restoration technology. The University of Pittsburgh and UPMC are currently enrolling patients in a clinical trial research study for a bionic retinal implant system.
The PRIMA system, which was developed with Daniel Palanker, PhD, from Stanford University, aims to elicit functional artificial vision in the form of light visual perception and potentially restore vision loss. The bionic vision system, manufactured by Pixium Vision, consists of a wireless subretinal photovoltaic implant, glasses with a camera, and a pocket computer.
The clinical trial will involve patients who have lost central vision due to end-stage atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Joseph N. Martel, MD, assistant professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, will implant the new artificial vision system in patients at UPMC.
Criteria to participate in the clinical trial:
– Atrophic dry AMD
– 60 years or older
– Visual acuity of LogMAR 1.3(20/400) or worse (beyond legal blindness)
If you think you have a patient in mind that could benefit from this study, or if you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. Joseph Martel at You can also call our clinical trials coordinator, Rhonda Dahlstrom, for more information at 412-647-3434, or visit our website.
José-Alain Sahel, MD
Chair, UPMC Department of Ophthalmology
Joseph N. Martel, MD
Assistant Professor, UPMC Department of Ophthalmology
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