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We are always looking for patients with damage to the visual cortex.

Introduction

My name is Dr Sara Ajina and I would like to ask for your help with a study we are conducting at the University of Oxford.

For this project we need to recruit around 12 patients who have sustained a stroke, in order to investigate how the brain adapts over time.

Aim of the project

The aim of the study is to look at how the brain may compensate when damage occurs to the regions that normally process visual information.

In order to look at these changes we need to compare differences in the structure, connections and function of the brains of people who have suffered damage to their brain, and compare this over time.

Who can take part?

Participants must have suffered from a stroke within the last 3 months. In particular, this must have affected one side of their vision so they can only see half of everything. Subjects must be over 18 years old, have had no previous surgery to the heart or brain, and no cardiac pacemaker. It is also important that subjects have no other problems with their eyesight that cannot be corrected with glasses, such as cataract or macular degeneration.

What would be involved?

If you are interested in taking part in our study we will send you a detailed information sheet to read through before you make your decision about taking part, and you should feel free to discuss this with any family or carers.

If you decide to participate we will ask you to visit our centre for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of your brain on two separate occasions for about 60-90 minutes each.

On the first occasion we would perform two structural scans, the first allows us to see the structure of your brain, the second shows us the main connections within your brain. During these scans you need to lie still but can listen to music if you wish. We may also ask you to look at some pictures.

Afterwards, we will perform some simple tests of your sight. These involve looking at pictures presented on a computer screen. Also, if you have not had one recently, we may perform a detailed assessment of your peripheral vision.

If you are willing to come back on a second occasion, we will repeat the MRI scans and eyesight tests to see whether there have been any changes over time.  

Are there any side effects?

This study does not involve taking blood or any medications. There are no known side effects of having an MRI scan.

If you felt uncomfortable at any time during the experiment we would stop immediately.

The study has been approved by the local Ethics Committee.

Will I be reimbursed?

Yes. Please bring receipts when you come for a scan and we will reimburse your travel costs (up to a maximum of £20).

We will also provide you with an honorarium of £50 for each visit to compensate you for your time and contribution.

Who can I contact?

If you or your friends/relatives have any questions about this study, please do not hesitate to contact us using the details listed below.

Contact details

Dr Sara Ajina          

Email address: sara.ajina@oriel.ox.ac.uk

Telephone number: 01865 222582