Navigation Links
Hear to see: New method for the treatment of visual field defects
Date:5/30/2012

Patients who are blind in one side of their visual field benefit from presentation of sounds on the affected side. After passively hearing sounds for an hour, their visual detection of light stimuli in the blind half of their visual field improved significantly. Neural pathways that simultaneously process information from different senses are responsible for this effect. "We have embarked on a whole new therapy approach" says PD Dr. Jrg Lewald from the RUB's Cognitive Psychology Unit. Together with colleagues from the Neurological University Clinic at Bergmannsheil (Prof. Dr. Martin Tegenthoff) and Durham University (PD Dr. Markus Hausmann), he describes the results in PLoS ONE.

Passive listening rather than extensive visual training

To investigate the effectiveness of the auditory stimulation, the research team carried out a visual test before and after the acoustic stimulation. Patients were asked to determine the position of light flashes in the healthy and in the blind field of vision. While performance was stable in the intact half of their field of vision, the number of correct answers in the blind half increased after the auditory stimulation. This effect lasted for 1.5 hours. "In other treatments, the patients undergo arduous and time-consuming visual training" explains Lewald. "The therapeutic results are moderate and vary greatly from patient to patient. Our result suggests that passive hearing alone can improve vision temporarily."

The origin of visual field defects

If strokes or injuries cause damage to the area of the brain that processes the information of the visual sense, this results in a visual field defect. The area most commonly affected is the primary visual cortex, the first processing point for visual input to the cerebral cortex. The more neurons die in this brain area, the bigger the visual deficit. Usually the entire half of the visual field is affected, a condition known as hemianopia. "Hemianopia restricts patients immensely in their everyday life" says Lewald. "When objects or people are missed on the blind side, this can quickly lead to accidents."

How the brain integrates sensory information

"There is increasing evidence that processing of incoming sensory information is not strictly separated in the brain", says Lewald. "At various stages there are connections between the sensory systems." In particular the nerve cells in the so-termed superior colliculus, part of the midbrain, process auditory and visual information simultaneously. This area is not usually affected by visual field defects, and thus continues to analyse visual stimuli. Therefore, remaining visual functions are retained in the blind half, which the patients, however, are not aware of. "Since the same nerve cells also receive auditory information, we had the idea to use acoustic stimuli to increase their sensitivity to light stimuli" says Lewald.

New research issues

The team of researchers now aims to further refine their therapy approach in order to reveal sustained improvement in visual functioning. They will also investigate whether the stimulation of the sense of hearing also has an effect on more complex visual functions. Finally, they aim to explore the mechanisms that underlie the effect observed.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Joerg Lewald
joerg.lewald@rub.de
49-234-322-5137
Ruhr-University Bochum
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Live with Regis and Kelly Reveal A REVOLUTIONARY Pain Relief Method
2. Two Surgical Methods Equally Successful for Prostate Cancer
3. Psychiatrys main method to prevent mistaken diagnoses of depression doesnt work: NYU study
4. New testing method hints at garlics cancer-fighting potential
5. MSU scientists develop more effective method of predicting lead-poisoning risk
6. Blood Draw Dilemma: New Summit Health Article Helps Employers Choose the Best Screening Method
7. Worlds most useful tree provides low-cost water purification method for developing world
8. FDA, FSIS, CDC Collaborate on Methods to Measure Success of Food Safety Programs
9. Los Angeles Hair Transplant Cosmetic Surgeon Corrects Bad Hair Transplants With New Hair Restoration Method
10. An improved method for calculating tumor growth
11. New method to grow arteries could lead to biological bypass for heart disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The CHP suggests that California drivers ... storm by slowing down and increasing the space between themselves and other vehicles, according ... car accident attorney Raymond R. Hassanlou notes that, rain or shine, drivers should always ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Connecticut Dermatology Group (CDG) ... a highly experienced and compassionate dermatologist. Dr. Kim brings an extensive background in ... “It is with considerable pleasure to welcome back Dr. Kim to the CDG team” ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Sales Focus Inc. (SFI), a Maryland-based sales outsourcing company, ... Over the past 20 years SFI has been recognized as the world’s leader in ... clients into the US market. The new clients include: Panacea Pro, Campseekers, Contentmart, ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 19, 2017 , ... Infinity® Massage Chairs ... plan and implement new sales and marketing strategies. Grover comes with a total of ... 5 and a half years as Executive Vice President of Direct Sales at Traeger® ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... Osteopathic College of Proctology) announced today the opening of 3 medical offices ... http://www.hemorrhoidsremovalcenterscalifornia.com ): Hemorrhoids Center of Los Angeles (Beverly Hills), Hemorrhoids Center of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , January 19, 2017 The global  pacemaker market ... report by Grand View Research, Inc. The heightening prevalence of cardiac conditions coupled ... growth of Pacemaker globally. In addition, technological enhancements in these devices are supporting ... ... Grand View Research Logo ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 18, 2017  ViewRay, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... only clinical MRI-guided radiation therapy system, announced today that ... $26.1 million through a private placement of its ... the financing and was joined by certain of ... Kearny Venture Partners, and an additional new institutional ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 18, 2017  Magnetic Insight Inc., leader ... into an agreement with inviCRO LLC to develop ... imaging system based on inviCRO,s VivoQuant™ visualization and ... as a complete MPI solution package with the ... or cell imaging in vivo. MPI ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: