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Success Stories, Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain Glasses Give 9-Year-Old ‘Hopeful’ Future

Aunt’s Concussion Eventually Leads Her Great Nephew to Mind-Eye

A concussion has given 9-year-old Bryce Frederick of Lake Villa, Ill. a “hopeful future,” according to his great aunt Cynthia Hamm.

That’s because her head injury and subsequent memory loss, which Cynthia sustained in a 2018 auto collision, eventually led to an appointment for Bryce at the same practice that had brought such relief and return of memory to Cynthia – namely, the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Ill.

“I knew something was not quite right with the connection between what Bryce would see and how his brain processed the information,” Cynthia relates, after watching her great-nephew lose self-confidence; falter at performing basic developmental activities like tying his shoelaces, throwing and catching a ball, and riding a bike; struggle in school – “he could not even do a,b,c’s or 1,2,3’s;” and become increasingly withdrawn from the world around him. “Bryce even failed kindergarten, had to repeat it, and then continued to struggle in the first and second grades despite attending summer school sessions,” Cynthia recalls.

“When he printed the alphabet, his letters were oftentimes upside down or backwards,” says Cynthia, who indicates she first began noticing a change in Bryce as early as age 2. “Before that time, he loved music and dancing to music. But he gradually began avoiding sound. He did not like singing and would get very upset when people were dancing. He did not even like eating food that crunched.” Shortly after age 3, he was diagnosed with amblyopia – “lazy eye” – and prescribed a pair of glasses that Cynthia calls “too thick and heavy for his face. Bryce was very unhappy with them.”

Enter the Mind-Eye Institute, a place recommended to Cynthia by a physical therapist who determined — after several months of treatment — that Cynthia’s own lingering head injury symptoms from the auto crash were not abating. With continued prodding from her therapist, Cynthia eventually made a call to Mind-Eye and scheduled an appointment – the first step leading to a gradual diminution of some of her problems.

“At Mind-Eye, I would usually see a waiting room full of parents – parents who, I am sure, had done as much research as I had done before they scheduled their children for an appointment. The optometrists there were helping me and obviously these other patients as well, so I felt sure they could help Bryce, too. [As a family], we certainly had nothing to lose,” Cynthia relates.

Bryce’s first Mind-Eye appointment came in July 2020. At that time, after Bryce had been extensively evaluated, Mind-Eye optometrists told the family that Bryce’s brain was not receiving proper signals from his eyes. “His brain was not able to function properly, according to the doctors,” Cynthia says.

Now, 15 months and several sets of prescribed Mind-Eye brain glasses later, Bryce has become a youngster who “rides like a speed demon, does tricks on his handlebars, plays baseball, makes friends, and has pushed his grades high enough to evoke comments from his teacher at a recent parent-teacher conference,” Cynthia says. “Teachers are amazed at his progress. He is now able to do everything he could not do just a matter of months ago. In fact, at one time, he was able to read only 14 words a minute correctly. A more recent test now shows he is reading at a rate of 99 words a minute.”

Bryce has even become somewhat of an inventor, his great aunt says. “He put an iPad together and then created his own charge unit for it – and it works,” Cynthia beams.

The Mind-Eye Institute and its founder and executive research director Deborah Zelinsky, OD, have achieved worldwide recognition for the use of therapeutic eyeglasses, lenses, prisms, and filters to vary the amount, intensity and angle of light that passes through the retina. The retina is part of the central nervous system and a primary portal through which information enters the brain in the form of light-generated electrical signals.

“By manipulating light, we are often able to lessen symptoms and restore comfort to patients needing to rebuild visual processing skills compromised by brain injury, head trauma, stroke, and other neurological disorders,” explains Carla Adams, OD, a Mind-Eye optometrist who also provided care to Bryce. “Our unique optometric testing and approach also help in developing new sensory processing capabilities in patients with attention deficits and behavioral disorders, dyslexia, as well as other learning and developmental deficiencies.”

Dr. Adams explains how central eyesight represents only six percent of a person’s view. The place to which one’s central attention is directed comes from the retina’s periphery, which represents 94 percent of a person’s view. Signals from the retina’s periphery are what directly impact key brain structures, including those affecting balance, posture, and motor skills and important physiological and biochemical systems, including emotion and fear. These signals are also needed for spatial mapping, so that sensory integration linking the eyes with hearing and other senses can occur.

“Proper retinal processing is critical to learning,” Dr. Adams emphasizes.

Cynthia agrees. “Bryce is no longer a frustrated child. The Mind-Eye Institute has given him a brand-new, hopeful future.”

Although Bryce has undergone significant, positive changes, his experience is not always the norm nor is it guaranteed for every patient. Check out the Mind-Eye Institute website at www.mindeye.com for additional information.