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Success Stories, Traumatic Brain Injury

From ‘Barely Able to Read’ to Doctoral Dissertation

Mind-Eye Institute ‘Brain’ Glasses Helping Her ‘Return to Person I Was’

She went from hardly being able to read and recall information to completing a doctoral dissertation in a way appropriate for presentation.

And, Karenanna Creps, an instructor of teacher education at Michigan State University, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2015, is crediting much of her recent academic success to “brain” glasses prescribed by the team at the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Ill. (https://mindeye.com)

She struggled for more than two years with symptoms caused when she was struck by a car while walking across the street at a controlled intersection. The crash left her with multiple injuries, including a serious concussion and traumatic brain injury. At the time, she was in the third year of a five-year doctoral program.

Her primary intent following the accident was “to return to the person I was,” Karenanna says, but that goal proved increasingly elusive as she went from doctor, to physician specialist to therapist to psychologist and cognitive experts, seeking help for a variety of health issues – many of them related to her brain injury.

“I had problems with my side-to-side vision as well as my eyesight shifting up and down. I could no longer read well nor retain what I had read,” she says. “I started experiencing vertigo so badly that I could not move my head or neck at all.” She also suffered chronic headaches, hearing loss – tinnitus — in one ear and insomnia.

Even more perplexing, Karenanna lost her ability to organize. “I moved to a new apartment and did not know how to organize the kitchen. I had to ask friends to help me.”

Her search for relief using the traditional health care system took her to more than100 health practitioners, a few of them admitting they did not know how to treat her and some of them challenging her “obsession” with returning to “normalcy.”

Karenanna was frustrated, but then she listened to the audio version of a book. Not any book, but a book written by Clark Elliott Ph.D., a DePaul University Chicago academician and a specialist in applied artificial intelligence.

The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back details Elliott’s eight years of struggles following a mild traumatic brain injury and his search for practitioners who could help him return to health. Published in 2015, the book describes what he calls the “magic” work of the Mind-Eye Institute and that of its founder and research director, Deborah Zelinsky, OD.

Listening to Dr. Elliott’s book not only intrigued her, it helped her – “a lot.”

“For the first time, I found someone who understood what I was going through,” says Karenanna.

She made a first-time appointment with the Mind-Eye Institute. It was the summer of 2017.

“As soon as I met Dr. Zelinsky and talked to her, she understood. She said that someone as highly functioning as I had been before the accident had a right to ask to return being the person I once was.”

Following extensive testing, the Mind-Eye Institute team prescribed Karenanna her first pair of “brain” glasses.

Mind-Eye professionals refer to them as Brainwear™ — therapeutic lenses precisely designed to readjust a patient’s visual processing and eye-ear integration on an individual case-by-case basis.

“By changing the way light disperses across the retina, we can affect how the brain reacts to information about the environment and normalize a person’s spatial awareness, body movement and selective attention to sound,” explains Dr. Zelinsky, who is internationally noted for her studies and clinical work on how alterations in light on the retina impacts brain function.

“Dr. Zelinsky just knew what was going on with me,” Karenanna recalls. “My first set of [Mind-Eye] glasses had yellow filters. When I first put them on, I realized how despondent and angry I had been, and I just wept.”

Since acquiring “brain” glasses, Karenanna’s symptoms have gradually diminished. “I can read again. I can write. My headaches have decreased in intensity, and my tinnitus has dialed down.”

Even her ability to sleep has improved. “Dr. Zelinsky prescribed me a special set of glasses with dark purple filters, which I wear briefly before going to bed. They help calm my brain from the day’s activities,” she says.

Not everyone can tolerate colored filters, and not everyone can adjust to prisms, Dr. Zelinsky says. “Each person receives what is unique for their situation.”

Karenanna looks forward to her next – and what may be her last – appointment at the Mind-Eye Institute in December of this year (2019), and maybe, just maybe, to achieving her ultimate goal: “fully returning to the person I once was.”