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Vision restoration therapy
  1. L R Caplan1,
  2. A Firlik2,
  3. N J Newman3,
  4. M Pless4,
  5. J G Romano5,
  6. N Schatz6
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA
  2. 2New York University School of Medicine, NY, USA
  3. 3Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
  4. 4Neurology and Neuro-Ophthalmology, Northeast Health System, USA
  5. 5Cerebrovascular Division, University of Miami, FL, USA
  6. 6Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Jose G Romano MD, Cerebrovascular Division, University of Miami, FL, USA; jromanomed.miami.edu

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A recent paper1 and accompanying editorials2,3 in the BJO have raised the question of whether vision restoration therapy is effective in the rehabilitation of visual field defects. As members of the scientific medical advisory board of NovaVision, we believe these editorials require comment and refer the interested reader to an opposing editorial in a recent issue of the BJO by Sabel and colleagues4 and to an article in press in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.5 Although we acknowledge that statements by members of an advisory board are always complicated by potential conflicts of interest, we hope that our colleagues will recognise our commitment to scientific debate.

We believe the current evidence does not support Horton’s contention that “no therapeutic intervention…can correct effectively the underlying visual field deficit” after post-chiasmatic injury. On the contrary, a comprehensive and critical review of the literature reveals that there is a sound scientific basis for recommending vision restoration therapy for some patients with hemianopia. Studies of the practical effectiveness and scientific basis of vision restoration therapy are now ongoing, and patients are being treated at nine US centres. We urge physicians and scientists to review the current literature and the results of future studies as they become available. Although there are clearly important questions regarding this intervention that need to be elucidated, it is evident that the main goal, that of visual rehabilitation, is attained for some of those treated with vision restoration therapy. In our opinion, the preponderance of the data supports the notion that this intervention is valuable and results in visual improvement for certain patients with visual field defects.

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Footnotes

  • Disclosure: The authors are members of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of NovaVision, the company that has developed vision restoration therapy.

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