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Success Stories, Traumatic Brain Injury

Mind-Eye Institute Gives Her Hope of Becoming Seizure-Free

‘Brain’ Lenses Also Lessen Monica’s Agitation Under Florescent Lights

Monica is looking forward to being seizure-free for an entire year or two “so, hopefully, I can go off seizure medication entirely.” And, thanks to a couple sets of therapeutic “brain” glasses prescribed by the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Ill., she is a major step closer to that goal.

“Mind-Eye has put me back on the path to recovery,” says Monica Ruby of Loma Linda, Calif., whose neurological disorder has caused her to experience one grand mal and frequent petty mal seizures.

“My ‘brain’ glasses have lessened my seizure activity – from one or two incidents a week to only two in the past six months,” says Monica, a school counselor who has been battling symptoms for more than five years.

The Mind-Eye Institute applies 21st century science to neuro-optometric rehabilitation and adds advanced mind-eye techniques to develop individualized patient prescriptions. The prescriptions are designed to help reduce symptoms related to traumatic brain injuries, concussion, stroke and other neurological disorders, like the one that has troubled Monica.

“Brain” glasses are designed to bend light in different ways across the retina, which is made up of brain tissue and is part of the central nervous system, says Daniel Myers, OD, Monica’s optometrist at the Mind-Eye Institute. “Light changes how the retina communicates with the brain, modifying the relationship between the mind's visual and auditory processing.”

In fact, the eye plays a critical role in routing information through multiple pathways for further processing in the brain’s cortex. “Variance in light signals can create new brain signaling pathways that enhance a patient’s spatial awareness and perception,” Dr. Myers explains.

Reduction in symptoms has proven a special blessing for Monica because her past seizures often left her in what she calls a semi-conscious state – “not fully aware and sometimes unable to speak for minutes at a time” — and those episodes impacted her reading abilities as well. “I have always been an avid reader, but, following a seizure, the words on a page would not even make sense,” she says.

Even decisions about where she and her husband would live whenever moving to a new area – or different state — were affected by the disorder. “Depending on state laws, a person is prohibited from driving for three months to six months after experiencing a major (grand mal) seizure. That’s why I always had to find a place close enough to where I worked, so I could walk or readily take public transportation, if I were to lose my driving privileges,” says Monica.

It was her husband’s determination to help her return to normal, combined with a bit of Internet research, that led to discovery of Ghost in My Brain, a 2015 book written by DePaul University Chicago professor Clark Elliott, PhD, an expert in artificial intelligence. In the book, Dr. Elliott details his near-miraculous recovery – within a matter of weeks — from symptoms of a devastating traumatic brain injury after undergoing care at Designs for Strong Minds in Highland Park, Ill. and the Mind-Eye Institute,

“My husband read the entire book; I read snippets. We both decided that contacting the Mind-Eye Institute and traveling to Chicago would be the right thing to do,” Monica says.

At the Mind-Eye Institute, Monica underwent extensive testing – “nothing like what is done by the typical optometrist” – including eye tracking, depth perception, prism walk and the Institute’s patented Z-Bell Test℠.

The bell test requires a patient to reach out with eyes shut and touch a ringing bell. If the patient is unable to do so, the optometrist keeps putting lenses and color filters across the patient’s closed eyelids until the patient can locate the bell. Even when eyes are closed, a low level of light still passes through the eyelids and stimulates the retina.

“Retinal stimulation activates parts of the brain not used for eyesight. With eyes closed, patients are still having to visualize surrounding space in order to locate the bell. By placing various types of lenses across a patient’s closed eyes, we can change the way light spreads over the retina, thus modifying the constantly changing relationship between the mind’s visual inputs and the body’s internal reactions and responses,” Dr. Myers says.

Monica received her first pair of “brain” lenses in May 2019, returning to Mind-Eye a second time a few months later. Today, she says she is filled with hope.

“One of the most immediate effects of my glasses has been a decrease in my light sensitivity. I am no longer agitated by artificial and fluorescent lighting. I can go to the grocery store or to my office at the school where I work without discomfort,” Monica says.

“And, my husband no longer has to turn down the lighting on the computer screen,” she laughs.

Monica also credits the glasses for enabling her to read aloud “smoothly and fluidly again” – something she found difficult to do after her neurological issues began.