Treatment for blindness successful in largest ever study

Wednesday, 26. February 2020 18:21

A new treatment has been found to be successful in improving the vision of partially blind patients.

Boca Raton, FL, Feb. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Funded by Vycor Medical, Inc. (OTCQB: VYCO) subsidiary NovaVision, Inc., and led by Professor Arash Sahraie from the School of Psychology, the study is the largest study of its kind to evaluate this new programme of treatment which is aimed at those with sight loss following brain injury.

In collaboration with University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and NovaVision, Inc., researchers found that the NeuroEyeCoach programme for rehabilitation of blindness after stroke, or other brain injury improved vision in over 80% of patients.

Published in the scientific journal Cortex, the study involved almost 300 patients, the largest number of patients to participate in a study like this.

Professor Sahraie explains: “Blindness after brain injury is common and its effect on patient’s daily life is sudden. Those affected have great difficulty finding their way around and avoiding obstacles. This therapy is designed to help this group of patients.

“We found that following treatment, patients’ ability to detect and avoid obstacles improved, they are also seeing things much faster and also state that the therapy improved their activities of daily life”

Findings showed that improvements were not dependent on age, gender, side of blindness, nor the time elapsed since the brain injury. Also, fundamentally, the team found there was no upper age limit to the success of the treatment – their results showed that the treatment improved vision even in 90-year-old patients.

This is the first time that a treatment of this kind has been shown to be effective in both old as well as young adults.

Professor Sahraie explains: “Our results show that rehabilitation of vision loss after brain injury is possible and can drastically improve patients’ quality of life.

“A fundamental finding is that no matter how old the patients were, or when they had their vision loss, if they had problems coping with everyday tasks like getting about or finding objects, the therapy would help them to get better.

“So, it is never too late, or patients are never too old to benefit from rehabilitation therapy. “The large scale of this study has provided answers to important questions. We have found that there is no limit to the success of the treatment in terms of age, time since injury or gender. This is extremely encouraging and we hope will be of benefit to the tens of thousands of people who live with blindness after brain injury.”


Notes to Editors

The study was conducted in collaboration with industrial partner NovaVision, Inc.

Client testimonial:

“I am quicker to compensate with eye movements towards the right – I think my reading speed and accuracy in proof reading my own work has improved to some extent. I’ll need to take a proper visual field test but I have possibly slightly narrowed a bit of the blind spot or have a slight sense of more shape there. Though it might be wishful thinking, I also noticed my speed of response on the right side speed up by the end, and even overtook my good side.”

Extra Information

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. The blindness often affects either the right or the left half of the visual field – in both eyes.

This type of sight deficit can be significantly debilitating for those affected by it. Patients report a loss of confidence in their own ability to navigate the environment, which can then manifest itself in the form of withdrawal from daily life.

The study covers patients who underwent NeuroEyeCoach in their homes although it is also designed to be administered in a clinic. The web-based program was designed to improve the speed and effectiveness of eye movements to better compensate for the patient’s visual field loss experienced as a result of damage suffered to the brain, and is self-adapting according to the needs and progress of the individual.


Charles Beard

561-558 2000

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