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Local Optometrist Participates in Pentagon Award Ceremony

Mind-Eye Present to Recognize US Military for Lifesaving Pandemic Efforts

An internationally renowned optometrist from Northbrook, Illinois was among neuroscientists and brain experts invited to Washington, DC recently to recognize United States military personnel for their efforts in helping protect Americans and assisting in the delivery of millions of vaccinations during the global COVID pandemic.

“I was honored to join my esteemed colleagues from the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) and the Brain Mapping Foundation (BMF) in presenting the military with a recognition award,” said Deborah Zelinsky OD. Dr. Zelinsky is founder and executive research director of the Northbrook-based Mind-Eye Institute and president-elect of the SBMT. For more than 20 years, the two organizations – SBMT and BMF – have been at the forefront of providing unique medical innovations and neurotechnology research that have paved the way for advanced care to military Veterans and wounded soldiers. The organization is filled with pioneers in their respective fields and has the tagline of breaking boundaries in medicine and policy.

Known worldwide for innovative advancements in optometric science, Dr. Zelinsky uses highly individualized therapeutic eyeglasses, lenses, prisms, and filters in an effort to bring relief to individuals struggling with the after-effects of brain injury, stroke, and other neurological disorders. 

Mind-Eye “brain” glasses are intended to vary the amount, intensity, and angle of light that passes through the retina (a part of the central nervous system). The glasses emphasize peripheral eyesight processing, which governs aiming and focusing abilities. This type of prescription is not designed only for 20/20 eyesight but is often able to reduce symptoms and restore comfort to brain-compromised patients.

The Mind-Eye Institute has worked with Veterans who have sustained blast and brain injuries during their time of service and now suffer multiple symptoms like headaches, attention and concentration difficulties, brain fog, memory problems, sleep disorders, sound and light sensitivities, and abnormal reactions and responses to the surrounding world.

Both SBMT and BMF are noted for their successes in fast-tracking therapeutics and advanced diagnostic technology. Their organizational work has included immunotherapy, stem cell therapy, artificial intelligence-based robotics for prosthetic devices, neurophotonics, nanomedicine, brain mapping, and multi-spectral imaging for a host of neurological spinal and neuropsychiatric disorders.

“We want to show our gratitude to U.S. military personnel and their families for their valor and bravery and thank Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley for his leadership during this brutal pandemic. The efforts of the military have saved countless number of lives from the COVID virus,” said neuroscientist Babak Kateb MD, PhD during Pentagon ceremonies. Dr. Kateb is founding chair of the board and CEO of SBMT and president of BMF.

“We are here at the Pentagon to assure Gen. Milley, the U.S. military, and all Americans that we are relentlessly supporting our troops and ensuring they have ongoing access to game-changing and advanced therapeutics,” said cancer scientist Vicky Yamamoto PhD., current president and executive director of SBMT and chair of the SBMT-COVID19 global task force.

The BMF authored a landmark review position paper on COVID-19 in a 2020 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The paper warns of post-COVID brain disorder development.

Dr. Zelinsky has created a visual processing subcommittee within the Brain Mapping Group and will serve as one of 600 speakers at the 2023 Annual World Congress of SBMT in February.