October 5, 2007

WSU doctors at Kresge Eye Institute offer groundbreaking procedure for stroke patients

WSU physicians at the Kresge Eye Institute are now offering a new procedure that may help those who have been partially blinded by strokes. The institute is only one of seven centers nationwide offering the therapy and the only one in the Midwest.

The treatment, vision-replacement therapy (VRT), seeks to re-train healthy brain neurons to perform the function of those damaged by stroke. As many as 105,000 Americans lose part or all of their vision to strokes annually.

Several newspapers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, reported on VRT earlier this month after a study showing positive outcomes resulting from the procedure was presented at the International Stroke Conference, in New Orleans. Researchers at the University of Magdeburg, Germany, noted that one-third of VRT patients in a small study had modest but noticeable improvement after treatment and another third had strong improvement. In a few cases, a blind spot disappeared entirely.

The technology, which was developed by Florida-based NovaVision, involves a six-month regimen. Patients focus their eyes on various computer-generated graphics to help stimulate peripheral vision around the blind spot. As therapy progresses, the idea is to prod healthy neurons into taking over the function of those damaged during a stroke.

For more information on this procedure, please contact (313) 577-8900 or info@kresgeeye.org.