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Success Stories:

‘Brain’ Glasses Give Daughters Similar Academic Benefits Mother Received 20 Years Ago

Mom’s Memories Prompt Return to Mind-Eye for Help with Daughters

For the Eisenberg family of Highland Park, Ill., wearing “brain” glasses has become, well, a family affair.

Abby Eisenberg, mother of three girls, including twins, credits the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Ill., for strengthening the learning capacity – and coordination – of her children, as well as improving her own reading and comprehension capabilities when she attended middle school more than 20 years ago.

“My reading comprehension as a child was a challenge.  Teachers felt I had to work too hard [to learn and understand],” Abby says.  “At the time, a family friend, Donalee Markus, recommended my parents contact Dr. Zelinsky at the Mind-Eye Institute for help.”

Markus, PhD, is a neuroscientist and founder of Designs for Strong Minds™ in Highland, Park.  “Dr. Zelinsky” is Deborah Zelinsky, OD, founder and executive research director of the Mind-Eye Institute.

The Mind-Eye Institute applies 21st century science to neuro-optometric rehabilitation and adds advanced mind-eye techniques to determine individualized prescriptions for eyeglasses, lenses or other optometric interventions. Those prescriptions are designed to help develop new visual skills in patients who have struggled with learning and developmental issues. Armed with the new visual skills — and the rehearsal of them through daily life and games — new brain pathways are formed.

Abby’s memories of her own successful experiences with the Mind-Eye as a young girl prompted a middle-of-the-night “epiphany” after one of her twin daughters began showing signs of a developmental delay.  “She still was not walking even though she was then approaching two years of age,” Abby says.

“I had taken her to the pediatrician and a physical therapist, but no one could determine the problem,” Abby says.  “Then one night I suddenly awaken and think – ‘call Dr. Zelinsky.’”

She did, and Dr. Zelinsky determined “one of my daughter’s eyes moved more quickly than the other,” and the disparity made her feel “unbalanced, like trying to walk on a rocking boat,” Abby says.  A prescription of “brain” lenses countered the problem, and “my daughter soon started walking.”

Mind-Eye “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. Dr. Zelinsky says,  “Light is how the retina communicates with the brain, and the brain responds. Light is first converted into chemical signals, which then trigger electrical impulses that propagate through nerves.” 

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. Zelinsky explains.

Meanwhile, an older Eisenberg daughter, age 7, had been recently struggling with reading.  “Teachers were surprised she was not reading as smoothly as the other children in her class.  She would often fail to remember she had seen the same word on a previous page,” Abby says.

So, it was back to the Mind-Eye Institute for testing and a follow-up pair of prescribed “brain” glasses, which have proven helpful, Abby says.  “Within six months of wearing the glasses, my daughter’s reading improved, her writing was better, and her eye-hand coordination became stronger.”

Abby laughs when she recalls the extensive Mind-Eye evaluation that she underwent as a child at the Mind-Eye Institute.  “I was fascinated with the bell test.  You reach out with your eyes shut and try touching the ringing bell.  And, if you cannot, the optometrist keeps putting lenses and color filters across your closed eyelids until you hit it.  I thought that was magical.”

She was referring to Dr. Zelinsky’s patented Z-Bell Test℠.  

Even when eyes are closed, a low level of light still passes through the eyelids and stimulates the retina, Dr. Zelinsky says. “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 dynamic relationship between the mind’s visual inputs and the body’s internal responses,” she says.

“I am tempted to go back to Mind-Eye for myself.  I have seen the improvements with myself and my girls,” Abby says.  “The work being done there can enhance a person’s capacity and quality of life.”

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Newspapers and television stations throughout the country have been reporting on the work of the Mind-Eye Institute and its mission to “Leave 20/20 in the 20th Century.” To learn more about what the Mind-Eye Institute is doing to pioneer these changes in optometric evaluations , click here:

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