Author: Vanessa Mora
Role: Director of Research at VSI
Dr. Victoria Pelak
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Visual Snow Study:
In my recent conversation with Dr. Victoria Pelak, Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology in the Department of Neurology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has recently directed, published, and completed enrollment for a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation study protocol. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) utilizes a non-invasive magnetic field to induce electrical currents that are directed at the cerebral cortex, in order to alter neuronal firing. This study protocol aims to investigate the use of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) intervention to improve symptoms and visual dysfunction associated with visual snow (VS). Additionally, the protocol also describes the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rTMS uses continuous stimulation for a duration of time to produce effects on brain function. Repetitive TMS has improved outcomes in several neurologic and psychiatric disorders, including chronic tinnitus syndromes.
In addition, Dr. Pelak described during her practice that she lets patients know that current treatment options are only limited to alleviating symptoms. She recommends that her patients focus on pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments to control migraine, headaches, anxiety, and depression. As for light sensitivity complications, Dr. Pelak advises patients to use FL-41 tinted lenses indoors. She also recommends visual occupational therapists who assist patients with color-tinted lenses to alleviate VSS symptoms. Furthermore, Dr. Pelak states that exercising, meditation, and a healthy balanced diet can improve overall daily functioning.