Researchers have developed a new treatment for patients with blindness associated with brain injury often caused by stroke.
The computer-delivered therapy called NeuroEyeCoach is designed to improve speed and effectiveness of eye movements to better compensate for the visual field loss.
NeuroEyeCoach can be viewed as being the first evidence-based registered medical device accessible to patients at home or in clinical settings.
Published in academic journal Biomed Research International, is a report of a collaborative study between researchers in Aberdeen, LMU University of Munich and University of Verona showing that NeuroEyeCoach is an effective compensatory approach for those with visual field loss after stroke.
Loss of sight due to brain injury, usually from stroke, affects approximately a third of stroke survivors. In these types of brain injury, partial blindness in the visual field occurs due to a disruption in the connections between the eyes and the visual processing areas of the brain.
“We have developed the research into an accessible treatment that can help patients achieve major improvements in their vision within about 2-3 weeks. The therapy is adaptive and can tailor the treatment programme according to the needs of the individual.
“Our study found that this treatment can improve what remains of the partially sighted patients’ vision by training them to better detect objects in their visual field.”
How it works
The training makes use of a well-established psychological paradigm called the Visual Search Task. During a training session, the patient is asked to search a computer screen and decide if a particular item is present amongst distractor items. The level of difficulty is systematically altered by changing the target positions, the number of distractors, and similarity between the search for the target and distractors. NeuroEyeCoach is self-adaptive and adjusts the task difficulty to the patient’s deficits while encouraging eye movement efficiency.
- Find out more about NeuroEyeCoach.
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