Lynley Hood, a prominent author, has been blind for years and was unable to read or write. Now her sight is restored.
Scientists are puzzled because she was participating in a study at Otago University to relieve chronic back pain.
In a pilot study for chronic lower back pain, an electrode-covered cap sends electrical currents to the brain regions associated with pain.
Lynley Hood, a New Zealand author who won a prize for her work, took part in the trial to help ease the chronic pain she was experiencing from sustaining a pelvis injury.
Hood said, “I only felt comfortable lying flat on my stomach for three months.”
Hood’s results were unexpected. A glaucoma condition that had prevented Hood from driving, reading, and writing for over a decade improved.
She said, “I can read and write without difficulty.”
Hood was in the placebo group.
The pilot involved two 20-person groups that received five sessions per day for a whole month.
The two groups were treated differently. One group received stimulation of the brain regions responsible for pain processing and the other group only received skin stimulation.
“We think it’s gone from the skin stimulus and it would have affected her eye area,” said Dr Divya Adhia, project leader.
Researchers are now working with an ophthalmologist in order to replicate the results.
Hood said, “I can return to writing books. I can write those books that I have been thinking would make a great book.”
Hood is ready to move on now that she has her sight back.
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