With a great deal of national attention for traumatic brain injuries focused on the National Football League’s pending lawsuits and increasing awareness for American soldiers and recovery, a new treatment method is being developed out of a training method from the NFL by the military. The Dynavision 2 has previously been used by professional athletes to help with vision training and hand-eye coordination, as it serves as an educational video game system; however, last year it also became an important tool in diagnosing and treating concussions.
Now, the Shepherd Center’s SHARE Initiative is using the Dynavision system as a means of helping soldiers who have suffered TBIs recover and regain their basic abilities through skill testing. According to My Fox Atlanta, veteran Jonathan Henderson suffered an undiagnosed TBI during a Humvee accident while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom that left him suffering from headaches and impaired vision.
“When I first got back, it took about two years before they figured out what was wrong with me,” said Henderson.
“I felt dazed all the time. I didn’t think like I used to. Stuff that I used to could remember, I found myself having a hard time recalling information, stumbling on words,” said Henderson.
Once he was introduced to the SHARE Initiative, Henderson began using the Dynavision 2 machine and saw considerable results. The SHARE program helps men and women who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom and suffered TBIs recover through a variety of services, including physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology, neuropsychology, and other therapeutic programs.
According to the Dynavision Medical website, the main benefit of the D-2 system is how it challenges the peripheral visual system.
Peripheral visual attention is needed to protect an individual from potential dangers in the environment, and speed in searching the peripheral visual field is critical to safety in environments involving rapid visual changes such as is encountered in driving. The size of the Dynavision™ board automatically elicits a combination of head turning and eye movement which is the natural scanning strategy initiated when attending to peripheral visual stimuli. The light buttons also are identical which eliminates the need for discrete identification and instead elicits the more automatic response of visual localization which is compatible with the function of peripheral attention. This capacity enables the Dynavision™ to challenge the peripheral attention skills needed for driving, and orientation to and negotiation of the environment at a level few clinical activities can achieve.
In addition to concussion and TBI treatments, the D-2 machine is also being implemented into stroke treatment programs.