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Cortical Blindness Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy Cortical blindness is due to loss or injury to the visual cortex, that section of the cerebral cortex responsible for vision, as through a stroke or traumatic brain damage. In early life the cortex is "taught" by the eyes how to see. If one or both eyes are non-functional in the first years of life, the critical time for teaching the occipital cortex to see, then blindness ensues even if later the eye is restored to normal. Even an eyelid condition, such as a large hemangioma, which forces the eyelid shut for extended periods, blindness is then permanent on the side where that occurred. In that case strabismus (crossed eyes) is produced, and as in any case of strabismus in infancy, the brain must decide which image to believe. The other image is discarded and that area of the brain which receives that image does not learn to see. So, while the neurons remain intact, they are not educated to form images in the consciousness. In the case of a stroke, the neurons are damaged or killed outright and the effect is total darkness on one side of the visual field. However, with a stoke or traumatic brain injury there is the possibility of partial or complete recovery. The chances of recover are best under treatment with hyperbaric oxygen.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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