The Irlen Institute will be presenting cutting edge research at the 10th World Congress on Brain Injury in San Francisco, CA this March. This biennial Congress is the principal activity of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA), and is unique in its international focus on transdisciplinary advances in the science, clinical aspects, and public policy issues of traumatic and other acquired brain injuries.
The research, titled Precision-tinted colored filters: A successful intervention for medically resistant headaches and migraines after brain injury was conducted by Sandra Tosta and Helen Irlen from the Irlen Institute in conjunction with Dr. Jeffrey Lewine from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Dr. Joseph Annibali from the Amen Clinics DC.
The following abstract will be published in the international, peer-reviewed, scientific journal, “Brain Injury.”
Background. Since March 2011, Irlen has been investigating the use of Irlen Spectral Filters with military personnel experiencing chronic light senstivity, headaches and migraines as a result of brain or head trauma that has not been successfully remediated through other interventions, including migraine medications, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, healing touch, yoga, meditation, vestibular therapy, Botox injections, hyperbaric, and Neurofeedback. Methods. A sample of 134 Military personnel diagnosed with medically resistant headaches and migraines and chronic light sensitvity as a result of combat-related brain or head trauma were seen at the Irlen Institute for treatment. A preliminary questionnaire determined the severity and frequency of headaches and migraines experienced, and difficulties related to 28 areas of functioning. The individualized, precision-tinted Irlen Spectral Filter was determined and given to each individual to wear in the form of glasses. After approximately 4-12 weeks, a follow-up survey was conducted to assess reduction of light sensitivity, headaches and migraines, and a variety of other areas. Amount and severity of difficulties experienced were reported on a 0 to 5 scale (0 means “no problem” and 5 means “considerable problem”). Results. Results confirmed a nearly 100% reduction in headaches and migraines, 98% reduction in light sensitivity, 80% reduction in weekly/monthly migraine medication use, 99% reduction in weekly/monthly OTC medication use, 88-95% reduction in other physical symptoms (eye strain, dizziness, nausea), 93-97% reduction in academic difficulties (reading, math computation, copying, paper-pencil tasks, computer, job performance), 75-98% reduction in physical difficulties (coordination, balance, depth perception, general perception, tracking moving objects, marksmanship), and 54-64% reduction in emotional symptoms not related to PTSD (anxiety , irritability/agitation, anger, depression). Paired samples t-tests confirmed all improvements were significant at p<.05. Conclusions. For individuals who have suffered head trauma resulting in light sensitivity, and chronic headaches and migraines that fail to respond to other standard interventions, Irlen Spectral Filters provide dramatic and immediate relief and improvements. These improvements extend beyond headaches and migraines to impact other areas of life and daily functioning that are crucial to both their ability to remain in active duty and to achieve success after retiring from the Marine Corps. Irlen Spectral Filters are able to eliminate the pain and discomfort that no other intervention or medication has been able to eliminate, provide stability and clarity in the visual field (both on the printed page and in the environment), and improve functioning in more than 26 areas. Sunglasses, tinted lenses, transition lenses, medications, and alternative therapies did not reduce or eliminate their chronic headaches and migraines and other symptoms. Determination of the precise hue and density of the various wavelengths of light must be individually determined in order to eliminate headaches, migraines, and other symptoms and improve ability to function.