Visual disorders after brain injury can cause marked disturbances to everyday life such as reading, writing, watching TV and taking part in leisure activities previously enjoyed. NeET has successfully treated many patients through daily therapy promoting changes in visual sensitivity resulting in improved detection of moving and flashing objects within the blind area.
How NeET Works
The basic principles behind NeET are similar to those of physiotherapy and speech therapy following stroke or brain injury. If muscles or speech are affected, patients are asked to repeat a pattern of limb movements or speech sounds daily. The procedure results in improvements in the function of the surviving nerve network.
Visual abilities may be returned in a damaged brain in two ways. There are many parallel routes for nerves to carry visual information to different brain areas, so if one route is damaged then processing by other routes can be encouraged. Alternatively, the brain may be able to be trained to use surviving functioning nerves within the damaged areas. NeET is designed to encourage the use of the remaining pathways to compensate for the damaged areas.
During your NeET sessions you sit in front of a laptop with your chin on a chinrest and respond to the images that appear on the computer screen. The program is customised for you and at first the images will appear in the border between the damaged and undamaged parts of your vision. The program responds automatically as your visual sensitivity increases. Over time as you progress, the images may appear deeper within your damaged field of vision. Each session takes about 25 minutes to complete and we recommend one or two sessions a day, for a minimum of five days per week. The rehabilitation program lasts for six months. If appropriate, further therapy beyond this period can be arranged.
Most patients report that they become more aware of the visual targets presented in their NeET program after 2-4 weeks of therapy. At this stage the program automatically responds by adjusting the visual patterns to maximise progress. At regular intervals we also update your program to ensure that the recovering nerves in the brain receive optimal stimulation.
Who Can Benefit
In order to assess whether NeET is suitable for you, a visual field assessment is required which can be obtained from your local optician or doctor.
NeET can treat any of the following vision defects:
- Hemianopia (decreased or lost vision in one half of the visual field)
- Quadrantanopia (decreased or lost vision in one quarter of the visual field)
- Scotoma (island of visual impairment)