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Vision therapy can improve stroke victims' brain activity.

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A new functional magnetic resonance study shows that vision restoration therapy, or VRT, improves brain activity in patients who have had a stroke or other brain injuries. These patients often experience vision problems, which can result from damaged or partially damaged cells in the brain's vision center.

VRT is a relatively new, rehabilitative treatment developed by Nova Vision Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. Patients undergoing VRT focus their eyes on a point on a specially designed computer screen. Specific patterns of light designed to stimulate the damaged areas of the brain that process vision appear on certain parts of the screen. Patients perform the therapy daily at home for six to seven months, gradually improving their vision through the repeated detection of light stimuli directed at the border between the seeing and blind areas of the visual field.

In the study, the fMR data showed increased activity in visual processing areas of the brain as patients learned to detect stimuli in their visual border zone. This enhanced activity was identified one month after beginning treatment and suggests that the brain is responding. The study appeared Aug. 14 in the online issue of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.
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Title Annotation:in the news
Publication:ASRT Scanner
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:198
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