Unfortunately, brain injury is common. Over 700,000 Australians live with ‘activity limitations’ as a result. Research into brain plasticity is providing a new approach. Brain scans don’t always show the micro damage inside the neuron sheaths but using special ‘brain glasses’ can identify damaged/healthy brain tissue and with further specialist help the brain can ‘refigure’ itself.
Deborah Zelinsky focusses on neuro-optic rehabilitation. She assesses what parts of the brain the eye is connected to and works to direct retina input to the brain through healthy tissue – a new route, like a dirt track that becomes a main road.
The eye is connected with the ears and hearing. When you put glasses on your hearing is affected. Different glasses affect where you think sound is located. Deborah uses a bell to see through which pair of glasses you can most accurately locate the sound.
There’s a balance between eyesight and comfort. The glasses change the environment and the mind and the body have to adapt to that change.
Appropriate glasses can help with attention deficit disorder, autism, learning difficulties.
Donalee Markus – a cognitive restructuring psychologist – worked with Clark Elliott who had suffered the ‘discombobulating’ effects of concussion for 8 years, after he had received his prescription brain glasses from Deborah.
With the two types of therapy, in under a month Clark felt he had 70% recovered from the effects of concussion. He says this is not ‘voodoo magic’, there are 1,500-2,000 scholarly articles written about this kind of restructuring.
Read Clark’s interview on Radio National – quite fascinating!
The Ghost In My Brain