Oculomotor rehabilitation for reading in acquired brain injury

Ciuffreda KJ, Han Y, Kapoor N, Ficarra AP. NeuroRehabilitation 2006: 9-21.

Reading problems plague patients who have experienced stroke or traumatic brain injury. The majority of patients (at least 65%) with either stroke or TBI experience eye movement abnormalities.

The results of this investigation demonstrated relatively large, consistent and statistically significant improvements in all subjective aspects and many objective aspects of reading in this population.

All individuals perceived significant increases in their overall reading ability. There were marked objective improvements in saccadic tracking ability , and improvements in many of the reading eye movement parameters.

The oculomotor rehabilitation (eye movement training) had a significant impact not only on reading ability, but appeared to carry over to other activities of daily living such as concentrating better during conversations and improved scanning of the environment.

The authors conclude: “With improved reading skills, oculomotor control, and increased duration of reading comfort and perhaps also attention, other forms of therapy in which reading plays an integral role, such as speech therapy and cognitive therapy may be enhanced.”