Some Thank You’s, a ‘Congrats,’ and Spring Activity Report
In reflection, I am amazed at the pace of change – positive change – occurring at the Mind-Eye Institute since the start of 2019. Institute CEO Jim Smyth is a true visionary who works as hard as the Energizer Bunny, never stopping. He brings extensive business, managerial, logistical and organizational experience and talent to this growing enterprise, enabling us, in partnership, to move the Institute forward onto a national – and international – stage while maintaining the momentum of our initiative to “Leave 20/20 in the 20th Century.”
The intent of this 20/20 campaign is to revolutionize the way eye-prescribing is performed by applying 21st century knowledge from scientific research and utilizing the state-of-art, computerized technology now available to us – technology that was non-existent in 1862 when 20/20 eyesight testing and standards were introduced.
Thanks also to Jim Smyth’s recruitment efforts, our talented Institute team continues expanding. Just a few weeks ago, we added optician Joseph Black to our staff. Joe’s reputation for preciseness is unparalleled in the preparation of therapeutic eyeglasses that meet the strict prescriptive needs of Mind-Eye patients, many of whom are hypersensitive to light and movement in their surroundings.
Optometrist Dan Myers, OD, who joined the Institute earlier this year, has proven to be a godsend, bringing his clinical experience and interest in the management of ocular diseases such as glaucoma, dry eye, clogged eyelid glands and disorders of the aging eye to the care of patients here. I have learned from him about newer eye-care procedures being taught to optometry students today, and he is learning from the Institute about advanced techniques in neuro-optometry, neuro-optometric rehabilitation and assessment of brain function.
Congratulations are in order for another Daniel on our team – Daniel Nast OD – who continues to care for patients even though he recently turned 100 years old and whose 75 years of optometric experience top mine and Dr. Myers combined. Dr. Nast was featured for his work on the front page of the business section of the May 28 Chicago Tribune and was later interviewed by Fox Television News. Both Dr. Myers and I hope that we are half as spry as Dr. Nast when we are 100.
Meanwhile, spring activity at the Institute continues at breakneck speed. In May, I discussed the “Visual IIIusions Pilots Face” at the Aerospace Medicine Association’s annual convention. My speech piqued interest because conference participants were unaware of how changes in peripheral eyesight could be affecting their listening abilities and overall nervous system functions. Many pilots do not realize that, even with 20/20 eyesight, they still might require eyeglasses.
As I write this letter, I am preparing to leave the country in order to co-chair the neuro-cardiology track at the International Conference on Neurology, Neurosurgery and Stroke in Amsterdam. There, I will present some of my scientific work to cardiologists. I was unable to accept another invitation – this one for neuroscientists at the 2019 N-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan – but I do plan to attend that “think tank” in Italy during the 2021 World Summit.
I am also gratified that my monthly, online webinar is attracting nearly two dozen participating optometrists from around the world – Australia, Malaysia, England, Belgium, Mexico, Canada and several other countries, as well as locations throughout the United States. These doctors and I are brainstorming patient cases as a team, learning the latest, innovative testing and prescribing procedures.
Of course, I am most thankful to all of you – Institute patients, family members and interested readers of this newsletter. With your ongoing support, we will continue our successful efforts to address the special needs of those who have sustained traumatic brain injury; suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress syndrome, stroke and other neurological issues; or struggle with learning, attention and awareness disorders.
Please hang in there with us as we go through our growing pains! The future appears to be spectacular (pun intended)!
Deborah Zelinsky OD
Founder and Research Director
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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.
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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.