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A study on the natural history of scanning behaviour in patients with visual field defects after stroke

Tobias Loetscher, Celia Chen, Sophie Wignall, Andreas Bulling, Sabrina Hoppe, Owen Churches, Nicole Thomas

BMC Neurology, 15(64), pp. 1–4, 2015.


A visual field defect (VFD) is a common consequence of stroke with a detrimental effect upon the survivors’ functional ability and quality of life. The identification of effective treatments for VFD is a key priority relating to life post-stroke. Understanding the natural evolution of scanning compensation over time may have important ramifications for the development of efficacious therapies. The study aims to unravel the natural history of visual scanning behaviour in patients with VFD. The assessment of scanning patterns in the acute to chronic stages of stroke will reveal who does and does not learn to compensate for vision loss. Methods/Design Eye-tracking glasses are used to delineate eye movements in a cohort of 100 stroke patients immediately after stroke, and additionally at 6 and 12 months post-stroke. The longitudinal study will assess eye movements in static (sitting) and dynamic (walking) conditions. The primary outcome constitutes the change of lateral eye movements from the acute to chronic stages of stroke. Secondary outcomes include changes of lateral eye movements over time as a function of subgroup characteristics, such as side of VFD, stroke location, stroke severity and cognitive functioning. Discussion The longitudinal comparison of patients who do and do not learn compensatory scanning techniques may reveal important prognostic markers of natural recovery. Importantly, it may also help to determine the most effective treatment window for visual rehabilitation.



@article{loetscher15_neurology, title = {A study on the natural history of scanning behaviour in patients with visual field defects after stroke}, author = {Loetscher, Tobias and Chen, Celia and Wignall, Sophie and Bulling, Andreas and Hoppe, Sabrina and Churches, Owen and Thomas, Nicole}, doi = {10.1186/s12883-015-0321-5}, year = {2015}, journal = {BMC Neurology}, volume = {15}, number = {64}, pages = {1--4} }