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British surgeons using radiation beams to halt macular degeneration

Darren Murph
November 23, 2009
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We've seen more eyesight restoration efforts than we could easily count, but rather than tooting their horn about some theoretical discovery, boffins at Kings College Hospital in London are actually putting their hard work to use on real, live human brings. The new process, which goes by the name brachytherapy, is a one-off treatment for macular degeneration. In essence, surgeons carefully light up a beam of radiation within the eye for just over three minutes, which kills harmful cells without damaging anything else. A trial is currently underway in order to restore eyesight in some 363 patients, and everything thus far leads us to believe that the process is both safe and effective. As for costs? The procedure currently runs £6,000 ($9,889), but that's still not awful when you consider that existing treatments involving injections run £800 per month. Hop past the break for a video report.

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