Neuro-ophthalmic manifestations of cerebrovascular accidents

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Ocular functions can be affected in almost any type of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) creating a burden on the patient and family and limiting functionality. The present review summarizes the different ocular outcomes after stroke, divided into three categories: vision, ocular motility, and visual perception. We also discuss interventions that have been proposed to help restore vision and perception after CVA.

Recent findings

Interventions that might help expand or compensate for visual field loss and visuospatial neglect include explorative saccade training, prisms, visual restoration therapy (VRT), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). VRT makes use of neuroplasticity, which has shown efficacy in animal models but remains controversial in human studies.

Summary

CVAs can lead to decreased visual acuity, visual field loss, ocular motility abnormalities, and visuospatial perception deficits. Although ocular motility problems can be corrected with surgery, vision, and perception deficits are more difficult to overcome. Interventions to restore or compensate for visual field deficits are controversial despite theoretical underpinnings, animal model evidence, and case reports of their efficacies.

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