Partial sight loss following stroke affects around 55,000 people across Europe each year. There are also many thousands of people who have suffered vision loss following a brain injury.
Now, Aberdeen University spin-out company Sight Science has launched a Neuro-Eye Therapy (NeET) system that it believes could help users regain some vision.
Sight Science patients are given a laptop and chin rest and are required to complete a computer-based exercise – which takes around 30min – once or twice daily over six months.
Patients using the interactive computer program are presented repeatedly and systematically with visual patterns specifically designed to encourage plasticity within an injured brain.
Arash Sahraie, a professor of Vision Sciences at Aberdeen University and founder of Sight Science, said: ’Not too long ago, clinicians and scientists generally thought that, after brain injury, the adult brain could not be altered. But, within the past decade, the concept of brain plasticity – when the brain can adapt to and compensate for its circumstance – has become well established. We now know that if we encourage a change in the brain, then changes are likely to take place and if no intervention occurs, no improvements are expected.’
Following therapy, patients have reported significant improvements in their sight, which has given them increased navigational skills, helping them to carry out everyday activities such as crossing the road, as well as a better concentration span.
For more about the therapy see http://www.sightscience.com