Researchers offer hope for stroke victims with vision impairments

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A new device that uses light stimulation could help enlarge the visual field of stroke victims who have been left with vision impairments, according to researchers.

The visual field of about three quarters of the patients treated using Vision Restoration Therapy improved on average by nearly 15%. These patients suffered a stroke or other brain injury causing impaired vision. The complete Vision Restoration Therapy program, a custom-designed pattern of bright and dim light stimulation, delivered to the edges of the visual field of the affected eye, consists of six four-week treatment modules.

For some, the improvement may make the difference between not reading and having the ability to read. The research results were presented during the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2007 in San Francisco. The findings are being used to seek approval for Medicare reimbursement for the device, according to researchers.