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A New, Objective Way to Assess Visual Fields: Visual Evoked Potentials

Tue, 08/02/2011 - 10:41am
Bio-Medicine.Org

PINE BROOK, N.J., Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new visual evoked potential method has been developed to objectively assess visual field defects in patients with ocular and/or neurological conditions. The research team of Kenneth Ciuffreda, OD, PhD, Diana Ludlam and Naveen Yadav at the SUNY State College of Optometry, Department of Vision Sciences (New York, NY) presented a scientific poster called "Effect of Different Stimulus Configurations on the Visually Evoked Potential (VEP)" at the 2011 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting. The purpose of the study was to assess the effect of different stimuli on VEP results, with the future goal of using the method as an objective form of visual field testing.

Traditionally, visual field tests consist of a patient looking into the center of a concave dome and pressing a button when they see a flash of light. This is meant to help map the patient's peripheral and central vision. However, the visual field test is a subjective exam because it requires the patient to understand the test instructions and fully cooperate to obtain accurate results. The process may be difficult and time consuming for some patients, often leading to poor repeatability and reliability. It is especially difficult for special patient populations such as those with cognitive impairments or attention deficits like Alzheimer's, ADHD, and acquired brain injury (ABI). Dr. Ciuffreda, a Distinguished Teaching Professor at SUNY and an optometrist says, "I rarely rely on the first visual field test I give a patient. I need to see the results repeated at least once to make sure that the patient fully understood what they were supposed to do, and that they were paying attention during the entire duration of the test."

The new VEP method overcomes many of the downfalls of traditional visual field testing. The device, called the Diopsys® NOVA VEP Vision Testing System, is an objective, rapid, repea

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