Prof. Dr. Georg Kerkhoff (Clinical Neuropsychology and Neuropsychological Outpatient Department, Saarland University) talks about "Disorders of vision and space perception after stroke - mechanism and treatment".
Patients with acquired stroke or other aetiologies of brain damage often suffer from disorders of basic and higher cerebral visual functions as well as disturbances of space perception. The prior include deficits of binocular vision and stereopsis among many other neurovisual disorders. Disturbed binocular vision (convergence deficits) is the most frequent oculomotor deficit after acquired brain damage and is often associated by disturbed stereopsis. Both impair visual activities in near space such as reading, grasping, depth perception and related visuo-motor capacities. I will talk about recent studies from our department showing how these disorders can be treated successfully with several dichoptic treatments. On a more general level, these studies show a considerable plasticity of the binocular system to recover after systematic therapy. Disorders of space orientation occur frequently after brain damage, particularly of the right cerebral hemisphere. These include spatial neglect, a disease where patients ignore visual, auditory or tactile stimuli in the part of space or their own body that is contralateral to their stroke. I will show how neglect manifests itself and how it can be treated effectively using stimulation techniques such as Optokinetic simulation (OKS) and Galvanic (electric) Vestibular stimulation (GVS). Recent randomized controlled treatment studies show that OKS induces multimodal and significant improvements in spatial neglect and related deficits. GVS is a well-tolerated, noninvasive technique of brain stimulation that activates the thalamocortical network of the brain. After a short description of the technique and its mechanisms I will summarize studies showing that GVS reduces components of body-neglect (proprioception, left-hand tactile extinction), with only minimal or no side effects. These data suggest that vestibular information can be used to modulate and treat disorders of contralesional neglect and body awareness after stroke and may thus be a viable and easy applicable treatment option.
Lecture and discussion from 7:00 pm until approximately 8:00 pm followed by dinner and informal discussion in the HWK-Bistro.
The lecture is open to everybody, but registration is required for this event (by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org ). Deadline for registration: November 23.