Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treating Lazy Eyes With A Joystick

Date:
July 10, 2009
Source:
Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a computer game therapy that is now ready for treating adults.

Eye and brain specialists have developed a computer therapy for lazy eye that could spare kids from wearing an eye patch and let them enjoy themselves during therapy.
Credit: iStockphoto/Andrei Nacu

Four percent of all children suffer from amblyopia, better known as "lazy eye syndrome." Traditional treatment for the condition requires the use of an eye patch, often for months at a time, before the eye is corrected. This can lead to social stigma during a formative part of childhood, and worse, it's not 100% effective.

Related Articles


Now Tel Aviv University's eye and brain specialist Dr. Uri Polat of the Goldschleger Eye Research Institute has developed a computer therapy that could spare kids from the ugly eye patch, letting them enjoy themselves during therapy. The treatment, currently available for adults only, corrects the activity of the neurons in the brain, the main operator of eye function.

A leading expert in lazy eye syndrome recently assessed Dr. Polat's invention and found that twenty hours in front of Dr. Polat's computer treatment had the same effect as about 500 hours of wearing an eye patch. The review was published recently in Vision Research. Dr. Polat's research group has also reported the new treatment's efficacy in a number of scientific publications, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

Not just any video game will work

In his carefully designed treatment, special and random objects appear, keeping the patient constantly alert and expecting the unexpected. A version of the therapy as a game is now in under development for children.

"As far as I know this is really a one-of-a-kind, non-invasive and effective way to treat lazy eye, without the use of an embarrassing eye patch," says Dr. Polat. "This is probably the first treatment that attempts to correct lazy eyes in adults, something that doctors had previously given up on. Doctors don't suggest intervention after the age of nine, because it usually doesn't work."

Making eye therapy fun

Taking it from the lab bench to a commercial product, Dr. Polat wants to make sure that the treatment will be as stimulating a regular video game. The existing game-like therapy he developed for the computer was "a bit boring," he admits, making it hard for some kids to sit through an entire session of treatment, which can be administered by a parent or therapist at home or at school.

That's why he's now collaborating with researchers at Rochester University in New York, where gaming specialists plan to add more entertainment value to the new therapy while keeping all of its therapeutic power.

"You see these poor kids in kindergarten wearing the patch. Everyone hates it, especially the parents who know what it's doing to their kid's self-esteem," says Dr. Polat. "My aim is to not only treat adults, but to treat kids using a computer two or three times a week, one hour each time, without the need for them having to wear a patch."

Dr. Polat's solution currently has the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seal of approval, Dr. Polat adds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tel Aviv University. "Treating Lazy Eyes With A Joystick." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622152035.htm>.
Tel Aviv University. (2009, July 10). Treating Lazy Eyes With A Joystick. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622152035.htm
Tel Aviv University. "Treating Lazy Eyes With A Joystick." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622152035.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins