Occipital stroke often leads to visual field loss, for which no effective treatment exists. Little is known about the potential of non-invasive electric current stimulation to ameliorate visual functions in patients suffering from unilateral occipital stroke. One reason is the traditional thinking that visual field loss after brain lesions is permanent. Since evidence is available documenting vision restoration by means of vision training or non-invasive electric current stimulation future studies should also consider investigating recovery processes after visual cortical strokes. Here, protocols of repetitive transorbital alternating current stimulation (rtACS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are presented and the European consortium for restoration of vision (REVIS) is introduced. Within the consortium different stimulation approaches will be applied to patients with unilateral occipital strokes resulting in homonymous hemianopic visual field defects. The aim of the study is to evaluate effects of current stimulation of the brain on vision parameters, vision-related quality of life, and physiological parameters that allow concluding about the mechanisms of vision restoration. These include EEG-spectra and coherence measures, and visual evoked potentials. The design of stimulation protocols involves an appropriate sham-stimulation condition and sufficient follow-up periods to test whether the effects are stable. This is the first application of non-invasive current stimulation for vision rehabilitation in stroke-related visual field deficits. Positive results of the trials could have far-reaching implications for clinical practice. The ability of non-invasive electrical current brain stimulation to modulate the activity of neuronal networks may have implications for stroke rehabilitation also in the visual domain.
- Alternating current stimulation
- Homonymous hemianopia
- Intracerebral hemorrhage
- Ischemic stroke
- Transcranial direct current stimulation
- Vision rehabilitation