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URMC / Flaum Eye Institute / About Us / FEI News Blog / November 2023 / Flaum researchers publish a paper highlighting the need for better vision care for stroke survivors.

Flaum researchers publish a paper highlighting the need for better vision care for stroke survivors.

With the global incidence of stroke on the rise and survival rates growing, there is an increase of survivors with neurological deficits related to their injury. These can include movement, speech, and, in up to 60 percent, chronic visual defects.

Matthew Cavanaugh




Recently appointed Research Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Matthew Cavanaugh, Ph.D., and his collaborator Dr. Hanna Willis, at the University of Oxford, published a policy paper advocating for better screening and clinical care for patients who have suffered visual loss from a stroke. Furthermore, they go on to propose ways to accelerate research efforts to help stroke victims recover or to prevent future vision loss. Highlights from the article published in, Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences include recommendations to:

  • Create more awareness among the clinical community and general public for the importance of immediate vision assessment of patients after stroke. Recent research suggests that early intervention during the first hours, days, and weeks after a stroke may improve visual outcomes
  • Standardize care pathways for visual stroke victims so that they are treated as effectively as possible. This includes deploying machine-learning-based visual field testing using software specifically designed to detect brain-related vision loss, versus current testing that best measures vision loss related to ocular diseases (such as glaucoma)
  • Improving the network of research related to therapeutic restoration of vision, and the prevention of long-term visual degradation. A number of laboratories have developed promising therapeutic vision rehabilitation interventions to partially restore lost vision. However, none of these techniques have been deployed into medical practice

Addressing these, and other, common gaps to care and research related to visual stroke are vital. They are likely to improve the standard of care for current patients and accelerate the development of therapies to lessen the burden of this problem. Researchers like Dr. Cavanaugh, and our neuro-ophthalmology specialists at the Flaum Eye Institute  are ideally positioned to help develop better solutions for this often-neglected consequence of stroke.

Zachary Laird | 11/15/2023

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