Press Release Summary: A Successful Patient Story from Westbury (UK) Shows the Rehabilitative Effect of Vision Restoration Therapy (VRT) After Stroke
Press Release Body: (Westbury / Magdeburg) - John Potier worked as an IT manager throughout his career. It happened in October 2004 when he became worse and was sent to hospital where they diagnosed a minor stroke. He stayed there for 10 days. Afterwards John consulted an ophthalmic consultant whose diagnose revealed a bright homonymous visual field defect due to occipital stroke. The consultant strongly recommended him to stop driving because of his perceptual disturbances. He was advised that he needed to learn to adapt to his visual handicap. No other investigations or specific treatments were indicated.
Whether his visual impairment would improve to the degree to returning to driving was unpredictable. Even harder than the loss of the driving licence were the limitations on his reading ability. Before the incident, he was a speed reader; after the incident this was no longer possible. His reading became inhibited and very much slower. Often he had to revert to putting words together letter by letter with assistance of his forefinger - a frustrating and annoying process. John's reading handicap was the result of his visual field defect. His aim was to enlarge his visual field.
John was not prepared to sit back and wait for help from others. He decided to do everything possible to improve his situation. With the help of the internet he found NovaVision, a company for vision therapy that works clinically with patients suffering from visual field defects.
The main competence of NovaVision is VRT, the Vision Restoration Therapy. VRT is an FDA-cleared, patented, non-invasive rehabilitation that may restore visual field defects after brain or optic nerve damage due to stroke, head injury or a brain tumour. These impairments of the visual system have traditionally been considered untreatable, but in the last years scientific research provided evidence that even the visual brain's restitution potential can be reactivated. By systematic stimulation some of the lost visual functions can be restored and the intact visual field can be noticeably enlarged.
NovaVision VRT consists of a neuropsychologically based examination of the visual field defect and - if conditions are considered as positive - a computer-based home therapy for six months. The daily therapy sessions themselves are going to be performed by the patient on his own PC at home in two twenty minute parts. Monthly, the patients send their data to NovaVision for supervision and adjustment to the reached progress of their visual field.
John got in contact with NovaVision Office in Germany. He sent his medical reports and flew to Germany for initial diagnosis in November 2005. The diagnostic test identified areas of residual vision. These data formed the basis for VRT, a customized at-home rehabilitation programme. Back home John started the daily therapy sessions on his own PC in two twenty minute parts. Monthly, he sent his data to NovaVision for supervision and adjustment to the reached progress of his visual field to maximize the effectiveness of the stimulation pattern.
After final diagnosis he extended the therapy to another 6 months. John can now read more effectively, not as quick as before but he is reading comfortably and has got back visual security.
Since 2008 British patients have an easier way to access treatment with VRT. Janice Juul in Bristol, an optometrist with a lot of neurological experience, started partnership with NovaVision. Patients can visit her to have their visual field loss precisely diagnosed.