A brand new therapy is showing great promise for helping people who have visual problems due to brain injuries. The treatment method is called NeuroEyeCoach. This program was recently tested by scientists at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, the University of Verona, and the University of Aberdeen. All of these scientists said that this program is very effective for people suffering visual field impairments.
As the name suggests, NeuroEyeCoach is a computer program that helps train a person's eye movements. The NeuroEyeCoach sessions are done over the computer. There are 12 different levels of difficulty, and these levels are split into 36 sessions that each last around 20 minutes long. In each session a patient is asked to locate a particular item on the computer screen. As the difficulty increases, more distractions appear on the screen to test the patient. Any patient can take as long as he/she needs to complete the entire test.
According to the researchers' report looking into this therapy, they found that the NeuroEyeCoach was very beneficial for stroke patients with visual field issues. The technology worked to help increase the accuracy and speed of patients' vision.
This is the very first time an official medical device has been proven to help people with visual field issues. This is great news, since this technology can be used by patients both at home and in hospitals.
The researchers working on this study said that the therapy works so well because it helps patients sense objects at the far ends of their visual field. Researchers discovered that even patients with a very limited visual field range were better able to perceive objects around them after a few treatment sessions.
It is currently estimated that a third of people who have had a stroke develop an issue with vision. Problems with vision, of course, have a wide range of negative effects on a person's quality of life.
Professors in this study note that people who survive a stroke and have problems with vision tend to shy away from normal life activities. This new technology is so important for the professors of this study because they believe it can significantly boost a stroke survivor's confidence.
Researchers found that this therapy can show significant benefits in a person's quality of sight in only 2-3 weeks. However, this therapy is not a "one size fits all" treatment, and it can be slowed down or sped up to meet a patient's specific needs.
There has been no word yet on when or if this therapy will be widely distributed to hospitals and rehabilitation centres. These researchers hope that this kind of therapy will become more widespread in the future.