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Success Stories, Processing Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury

A Mother & Daughter with Head Injuries, a Son with Anxiety Finally Find Relief

For the Perry’s, Mind-Eye Institute Becomes a Family Affair

For the Perry’s of Libertyville, Ill., the Mind-Eye Institute has become, well, a family affair.

That’s because mom, Julie, and daughter, Lena, both suffering the aftereffects of head injuries, and son, Louie, who developed an increasing tension and anxiousness about schoolwork, found answers to their symptoms by wearing the “brain” glasses prescribed them by the Mind-Eye team.

“Brain” glasses are intended to resynchronize a person’s sensory signaling pathways by varying the angle, intensity, and amount of light passing through the retina. The retina is composed of brain tissue and serves as a conduit between the outside environment and internal electrical and biochemical systems, explains Deborah Zelinsky, OD, founder and executive director for research at the Mind-Eye Institute.

By using therapeutic eyeglasses, the Mind-Eye team literally helps develop new signaling pathways in a patient’s brain. These new pathways circumvent damaged neurological ‘communication’ lines and re-establish more normal signaling patterns between the retina and deeper brain structures.

“If the synchronization of a person’s senses, particularly eyes and ears, is disrupted due to brain injury, neurological disorders, or stroke, then visual processing is affected,” Dr. Zelinsky says. “When the interaction between eyes and ears is underdeveloped, learning and social skills can lag.”

She emphasizes that “visual processing is what enables us to respond appropriately to our surrounding environment. Abnormal processing can cause a variety of symptoms, including light and sound sensitivities; difficulties reading, concentrating, and learning; brain fog; problems organizing and staying on task; sleep and memory issues; and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

Ask Julie Perry, who struggled for 10 years with light and sound sensitivities, anxiety, memory lapses, concentration issues, and loss of executive-functioning capabilities.

“I had been a person who could readily multi-task. Suddenly, I could not complete one simple task after my accident,” says Julie, whose forehead was shattered in 2009 when struck by a solid-wood bedpost while doing a light workout routine. “I would look at the laundry, at dishes needing cleaning, at food to be cooked, and I could not follow through with any of them. Walking into a grocery store caused me to become anxious, uncomfortable. Reading anything was difficult. I was able to drive a car but not far – too much anxiety.”

Matters for the family were exacerbated when Lena Perry, in junior-high school at the time, sustained a head injury while snow-tubing in 2016.

“Doctors first told us she would be better in two weeks, then they said four weeks, then two months,” Julie said. But symptoms persisted.

“I started experiencing really bad headaches, dizziness, nausea, balance problems, brain fog, difficulty focusing in class, and seizure-like activity. I was barely able to read and became sensitive to light and sound,” Lena says. “I saw multiple health professionals, but they found no actual damage. Basically, I was advised to keep waiting until my symptoms subsided. I just wanted to be normal again.”

“The problem was with how Lena’s systems functioned, not her actual structures. All the parts worked, but not as a team,” Dr. Zelinsky says.

The injury forced Lena out of the classroom for all of eighth grade, and she subsequently missed eighth-grade graduation. Lena also was unable to start high school, Julie said. “As parents, my husband and I were wondering what her future might be. We could not even do anything as a family. Lena would get sick in the car, could not handle sound, could not tolerate other people around her. We were unable to go out and do even simple things, such as eat in a restaurant or attend family functions. Everything was overwhelming for Lena.”

Desperate to help her daughter, Julie contacted the Mind-Eye Institute after Lena’s therapist referred Julie to the book The Ghost in My Brain by DePaul University Chicago professor Clark Elliott, PhD. In it, Dr. Elliott details his own symptoms of brain injury following a car collision and describes the successful efforts of Dr. Zelinsky and cognitive restructuring specialist Donalee Markus, PhD, of Designs for Strong Minds in Highland Park, Ill., to “put me back together.”

“Dr. Zelinsky explained to us that Lena’s body was overstimulated by her environment and that special [“brain”] glasses and filters could help reduce this stimulation to the point where her visual processing would be able to handle it all and slowly return to normal functioning,” Julie says.

Since the glasses seemed to be helping Lena – “she started feeling so much better and engaging in the world around her,” Julie decided to give the Mind-Eye approach a go for herself, although she held out little hope at the time that a pair of glasses would impact her own troubles in any positive way. “By then, I had been having symptoms for 10 years,” she states.

But, voila, the glasses she was prescribed after extensive testing did work!

“I began noticing subtle changes in my own symptoms over time,” she says. “I started regaining my ability to do things that I had been unable to do since my accident. I realized I had lost myself and was now slowly coming back to being the person I had once been.”

So, why not “brain” glasses for son Louie Perry, too?

“As his classes became more difficult, Louie became anxious, almost obsessive-compulsive,” Julie says. “His love for life seemed to decline. All we heard from him was how fearful he was, how he could not get out of his head. He would spend hours trying to get his school work done to perfection. He had difficulty sleeping. Dr. Zelinsky said [therapeutic] glasses would calm him down – and that is exactly what they did.”

Today, Louie is more relaxed – “not fretting and beating himself up,” Julie says. “I see peace in him. He sings all day long.”

For Lena, the changes have been even more dramatic. “She went from being able to attend school only virtually, no friends, seizures, and an inability to drive a car to having friends, returning to the classroom, getting a driver’s license, and applying to college,” Julie says. Yes, she is going to college – something we never thought could happen, at least for the next several years, because of all her symptoms.”

“Mind-Eye was the first to acknowledge that what I was experiencing was real – not something made up or ‘just in my head’ as some professionals told me,” Lena states.

Julie adds: “The Mind-Eye Institute has changed my life, my daughter’s life, my entire family’s life. Many practitioners still do not understand the work of Dr. Zelinsky and her team, but our family is living proof [Mind-Eye’s system and methods are successful].”

Dr. Zelinsky agrees. “Many people cannot comprehend — or understand — how a pair of eyeglasses can make such a difference in brain activity and transform the lives of people who already have 20/20 eyesight and do not need glasses to see. That’s because eyeglasses are considered only a tool to sharpen the way we look at the outside environment. But Mind-Eye is actually using eyeglasses to modulate a patient’s internal processing.”