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How a Mind-Eye Viewpoint Links Suitcases with the Moon

Mind-Eye Institute July 2019 Newsletter Updates

While rolling my luggage through the Netherlands airport terminal in Amsterdam, after finishing a presentation to cardiologists on how retinal stimulation can affect metabolism and cardiovascular health, I realized what a simple, helpful idea it had been to put wheels on the bottom of suitcases. We are celebrating the 47th anniversary of basically nailing a roller skate to the bottom of a suitcase, but have to comprehend that before someone patented that energy-saving idea, the United States was able to use complicated rocketry science and space technology in 1969 to put a man on the moon! The simpler idea took three years longer to conceive!

Simple ideas! That’s what the Mind-Eye Institute is all about, applying the simple concept that eyes and ears must be synchronized in order to use less energy and have greater awareness of surroundings. Just because someone hears well or sees well does not mean the two systems are functioning in concert with each other. Schools and workplaces assume they are, but patients are usually not tested for eye-ear connections even when experiencing problems related to learning disorders, attention problems, traumatic brain injuries, stroke or PTSD.

As I lifted my 32-pound suitcase onto the airport scale, the realization of differences between effort and ability especially struck home. I certainly was able to pick up the suitcase momentarily but could never presume to be able to carry it around like a purse for six hours. Managing a heavy suitcase is analogous to a person’s ability to see, listen and concentrate at the same time. A typical day requires a triad of support – energy, awareness and attention. But, if the mind and body are out of balance, for instance, if eyes and ears fail to work as a team, attention becomes split, diverted. For example, the luggage hurt my shoulder. The pain diverted my attention and required a greater expenditure of energy to cope — something I would be unable to do for multiple hours.

Just because someone can muster the energy to look at a small, specific visual target for 15 seconds in an eye doctor’s office does not mean that same individual can do it all day, every day. Ability is not equivalent to expended effort required. Yet, standard 20/20 eye testing does not determine whether or not sensory systems are synchronized or account for a fatigue factor over a long school or work day.

The mantra at the Mind-Eye Institute is to “leave 20/20 testing in the 20th Century.” We are always looking at the bigger picture, determining how a patient’s mind and body are able to adapt to environmental changes and prescribing with comfort as the optimum goal, rather than 20/20.   Patients would rather have 20/25 eyesight and no headaches or sensory confusion than 20/20 eyesight and multiple symptoms.

Before concluding this letter and wishing readers a happy summer, let me give a welcome shout-out to Zemen Abebe, newly appointed president of the Mind-Eye Institute, who comes on board Aug. 5. She is bringing years of hospital-based clinical management and administrative experience. You can read more about her many accomplishments later in this newsletter. Also, please check out some of the features about our patients and their personal stories.

Deborah Zelinsky, O.D.
Founder and Director of Research
Mind-Eye Institute

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Mind-Eye Featured in the News Media

Newspapers and television stations throughout the country have been reporting on the work of the Mind-Eye Institute. Read the articles below to learn more about what the Mind-Eye Institute is doing to pioneer change in how optometric evaluations are performed in the 21st Century.

Mind-Eye Helps 14-Year-Old Overcome Limitations of Rare Klippel-Feil Syndrome

Success Stories: Mind-Eye Helps 14-Year-Old Overcome Limitations of Rare Klippel-Feil Syndrome ‘Brain’ Glasses Give Her Confidence; Now She’s Top PitcherBorn with a rare skeletal abnormality – Klippel-Feil syndrome – which inhibits neck and head movement,...

She Overcame Learning Issues; Now Helps Others Do Same

Success Stories: She Overcame Learning Issues; Now Helps Others Do Same  Mind-Eye Institute Puts Erika on Path to Master’s Degree, Teaching CareerShe struggled with learning disorders during most of her school years. Now, Erika Cannon is a successful middle-school...

Cellphone Use Leads to Thinking: Eye Testing is Outdated

Mind•Eye Media: Cellphone Use Leads to Thinking: Eye Testing is Outdated    I flew to Boston, caught a bus to New Hampshire, then shared a car ride to my destination, all the while noticing how the fellow passengers kept their eyes – and conscious attention...

Society for Neuroscience 2019 Conference: Z-Bell℠ Effective for Evaluating Eye-Ear Integration, Spatial Awareness

Mind•Eye Media: Society for Neuroscience 2019 Conference: Z-Bell Effective for Evaluating Eye-Ear Integration, Spatial Awareness  SEEING is ‘BELL’IEVING; STUDY ‘RINGS’ TRUEReaching out – with eyes closed – to find and touch a small, ringing bell is a simple,...

‘Eye Testing Shifting from 20/20 Acuity to Brain Care’ NORA Presentation

Mind•Eye Media: ‘Eye Testing Shifting from 20/20 Acuity to Brain Care’ NORA Presentation  Time for an Update After 150 years, Mind-Eye Institute Founder SaysEvaluating patients differently by shifting from “20th century eye care” to “21st century brain care” was...

Her Struggles ‘All in Her Head,’ But She Wasn’t ‘Losing It’

Success Stories: Her Struggles ‘All in Her Head,’ But She Wasn’t ‘Losing It’ Mind-Eye Institute Gives Brain-Injured Woman ‘My Life Back’Lee-Ann Pullar of Durham, New Hampshire first considered her health struggles as possibly “all in my head.” What she didn’t...

Learning Struggles Often Due to Eye-Ear Coordination

Mind•Eye Media:  Learning Struggles Often Due to Eye-Ear Coordination   Mind-Eye Team Calls for Updated Testing of Children’s Visual ProcessingFailure to test how well eyesight and listening ability are coordinated is causing many children to struggle in the...

From ‘Barely Able to Read’ to Doctoral Dissertation

Success Stories: 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...

Using the Z-bell Test to Remediate Spatial Deficiencies in Non-Image-Forming Retinal Processing

Mind-Eye RESEARCH: Using the Z-bell℠ Test to Remediate Spatial Deficiencies in Non-Image-Forming Retinal Processing  By Clark Elliott [1], Cynthia Putnam [1], Deborah Zelinsky [2], Daniel Spinner [1], Silpa Vipparti [1] and Abhinit Parelkar [1] [1] DePaul...

150-Year-Old Eye Testing Needs Update for Today’s Classroom

Mind•Eye Media: 150-Year-Old Eye Testing Needs Update for Today’s Classroom  Well Integrated Visual Skills Critical to Learning SuccessMy presentation a few weeks ago to optometrists and occupational therapists attending the national Neuro-Optometric...

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'Dr. Zelinsky Is Renowned'

~ Norman Doidge, M.D. & Clark Elliott, Ph.D., and Patricia S. Lemer praise her accomplishments

"Zelinsky fit Elliott with a series of eyeglasses designed to improve the perceptual damage that made his life so difficult... Getting fitted for Zelinsky's eyeglasses is like no eye appointment you've ever had... Now, Elliott says, he is almost entirely symptom-free, able to problem-solve, multi-task and find his way easily — all abilities he lost in the auto accident in 1999. When he put on his Phase VI glasses he felt something that he hadn't felt for years: "I felt normal."

Review: 'The Ghost in My Brain'
- The Chicago Tribune

"One brilliant Chicago-area optometrist I know, Deborah Zelinsky OD, FNORA, FCOVD, has developed a unique, patented, easy-to-administer evaluation called the Z-Bell Test. This test measures the efficiency of integration between visual processing and listening....A 2014 study at Vanderbilt University found that children with autism do not synchronize their seeing and hearing...I have watched Dr. Zelinsky administer this test to disbelieving colleagues, who were astounded by its accuracy and results...Over the past two decades, the Z-Bell Test has become internationally recognized by the scientific community.”
- Patricia S. Lemer, Licensed Profesional Counselor (LPC)

"I visited Dr. Zelinsky, and she showed me how she can use optical lenses to alter sensory filtering, by directing light to different retinal cells and brain circuits. This can influence activity in the brain and the hypothalamus to better regulate body chemistry, sensory integration, and even some auditory processing. [Dr. Zelinsky] works frequently with patients working with learning and cognitive disorders as well as TBIs."

- Norman Doidge, M.D.