Seminar devoted to "visual neuro-rehabilitation after concussion/TBI" was a huge successViertägiges Seminar in Madrid

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A significant proportion of individuals who sustain concussion, also known as “mild traumatic brain injury” (mTBI) have lingering visual problems that are often unrecognized by optometrists who see them after a brain injury. The Spanish Fundación Visión COI (Centro Optometria International) organization & educational institute, arranged a 4-day microseminar devoted to “visual neuro-rehabilitation after concussion/TBI. More than 60-optometrists and professors of optometry gathered in Madrid from all over Spain, to attend this continuing education seminar.

The keynote speaker was Professor Hannu Laukkanen from Aalen University’s Master’s Program "Vision Science and Business Optometry (Germany)” and Clinical professor at the Pacific University College of Optometry (U.S.A.). Dr. Laukkanen provided a 20-hour micro-seminar on Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). The micro-seminar was divided into four modules: 1) Brain Injury and Neuroscience, 2) Testing and diagnosis of ABI/TBI, 3) Basic treatment of ABI/TBI, and 4) Advanced treatment. The audience was captivated by Prof. Laukkanen’s deep didactic knowledge base, his clinical expertise, and the depth of his understanding gained from more than 30 years of diagnosing and treating patients with ABI/TBI.

In addition to Dr. Laukkanen’s presentation, Katja Schiborr, (Candidate for the Aalen Master’s degree), presented her Pacific University pilot study thesis research results (pre-publication). Ms. Schiborr’s compelling translational clinical research findings strongly suggested that clinicians diagnosing and treating mTBI should incorporate Haidinger’s brush (entoptic phenomenon) visual feedback early in visual rehabilitation with mTBI.

The micro-seminar was closely followed by a Macro-seminar that attracted nearly 200-attendees. Prof. Wid Bleything (College of Optometry, Pacific University, USA, and professor in the Master program "Vision Science and Business (Optometry)” at the University Aalen, Germany) lectured about basic knowledge related to acquired brain injury and its ocular and visual consequences. He provided the attendees with a foundation for the practice of neuro-optometric rehabilitation and provided insightful advice on how to advance this area of optometric vision care.

Dr. Marisol Garcia Rubio, Director of the COI Institute, also presented on visual consequences of Parkinson’s at the macro-seminar along with Dr. Susana Donate Martinez (Neuropsychologist at the clinic of Neuropsychology and Parkinson Association in Madrid). Dr. Ana Belén López talked about scientific evidence in the neurological rehabilitation, while Dr. Laukkanen provided an overview of pediatric concussion and its consequences.

Both micro and macro seminars were praised by enthusiastic attendees as well organized, well executed, timely, and having profoundly impacted attendees. Attendees are looking forward to further elaboration and continuation of this topic as it gains more and more attention and understanding in the optometric world.

Photo: from left to right: Katja Schiborr, Dr. Hannu Laukkanen, Dr. Marisol Garcia Rubio, Professor Wid Bleything