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: Early detection and transplantation provide best outcomes for 'bubble boy' disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hoverbike drone project for air transport takes off

26 minutes ago

What happens when you cross a helicopter with a motorbike? The crew at Malloy Aeronautics has been focused on a viable answer and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support its Hoverbike project, "The ...

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

45 minutes ago

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

1 hour ago

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

Recommended for you

New malaria vaccine candidates identified

15 hours ago

Researchers have discovered new vaccine targets that could help in the battle against malaria. Taking a new, large-scale approach to this search, researchers tested a library of proteins from the Plasmodium fa ...

User comments : 0