QBI scientist looks at why stroke causes vision problems

Jun 06, 2007

The research, by QBI neuroscientist Professor Jason Mattingley and colleagues at the University of Melbourne and University College London, has implications for understanding "spatial neglect", a disorder associated with damage to the brain's parietal lobe – an area that plays an important role in integrating sensory information from various parts of the body, and in planning eye- and limb-movements.

Professor Mattingley said the neurological condition of spatial neglect tends to be associated with poor recovery for individuals who have suffered a stroke.

“After a stroke, many people with damage to their parietal lobe behave as if one-half of their visual world has simply disappeared," he said.

To examine this problem under controlled conditions, the researchers applied painless and reversible brain stimulation to the parietal lobe in 16 healthy volunteers.

By measuring "saccadic eye movements" during brain stimulation, Professor Mattingley's team showed specific areas of the parietal lobe use signals from motor areas of the brain to integrate each new snapshot of the visual world into a coherent whole.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, build on a body of research by Professor Mattingley which confirms deficits in human spatial updating contribute to vision problems in some stroke patients.

“Broadly speaking, our findings have implications for understanding a range of disorders of spatial perception associated with parietal damage, and point to promising new approaches to rehabilitation”, Professor Mattingley said.

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: Missing protein restored in patients with muscular dystrophy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Electric sparks may alter evolution of lunar soil

27 minutes ago

The moon appears to be a tranquil place, but modeling done by University of New Hampshire and NASA scientists suggests that, over the eons, periodic storms of solar energetic particles may have significantly ...

Toothpaste fluorine formed in stars

29 minutes ago

The fluorine that is found in products such as toothpaste was likely formed billions of years ago in now dead stars of the same type as our sun. This has been shown by astronomers at Lund University in Sweden, ...

Smartphone-loss anxiety disorder

30 minutes ago

The smart phone has changed our behavior, sometimes for the better as we are now able to connect and engage with many more people than ever before, sometimes for the worse in that we may have become over-reliant on the connectivity ...

Recommended for you

Student seeks to improve pneumonia vaccines

Aug 20, 2014

Almost a million Americans fall ill with pneumonia each year. Nearly half of these cases require hospitalization, and 5-7 percent are fatal. Current vaccines provide protection against some strains of the ...

Seabed solution for cold sores

Aug 20, 2014

The blue blood of abalone, a seabed delicacy could be used to combat common cold sores and related herpes virus following breakthrough research at the University of Sydney.

Better living through mitochondrial derived vesicles

Aug 19, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—As principal transformers of bacteria, organelles, synapses, and cells, vesicles might be said to be the stuff of life. One need look no further than the rapid rise to prominence of The ...

Zebrafish help to unravel Alzheimer's disease

Aug 19, 2014

New fundamental knowledge about the regulation of stem cells in the nerve tissue of zebrafish embryos results in surprising insights into neurodegenerative disease processes in the human brain. A new study by scientists at ...

User comments : 0