Breakthrough Tool for TBI Testing

Posted on July 2, 2022

An innovative vision rehabilitation tool for patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury is altering lives throughout the world. This unique diagnostic system (called the Z-Bell Test℠) highlights how our recent ways of evaluating brain injuries and concussions should contain a 21st Century Mind-Eye neuro-optometric evaluation with Z-Bell℠ testing.

When we think of optometry, a doctor specializing in vision care comes to mind. Traditional optometrists have diagnosed patients needing standard corrective lenses for years, helping them attain 20/20 eyesight. An optometrist can also address some other eye complaints. 

However, for patients with sensory and vision-related problems, achieving 20/20 clarity does not allow for the importance of the brain’s entire network of non-image forming pathways linking our eyes with other sensory systems and complex structures.

The connection between our eyes –specifically, our retinas and the larger system of sensory and motor pathways, as well as systems of attention and emotions, affects eyesight. This stream of information impacts our movement, spatial awareness, and selective attention to sound. 

Suppose those pathways become disrupted in any way. In that case, a neuro-optometrist may help, with an emphasis on how light impacts brainstem and limbic system functions.

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation reached a totally new level when Deborah Zelinsky, OD, developed the Z-Bell Test℠. She is the founder and research director of the Mind Eye Institute in Illinois.

Her research and vision into the “often untested linkage between the eyes and ears” have helped many patients throughout the world recuperate from significant complications linked with traumatic brain injury (TBI). 

The Z-Bell Test℠ is an innovative method for defining eye-ear connection problems by visualizing auditory space. Test results aid neuro-optometrists look beyond the patient’s eyes to determine the optimal treatment and rehabilitation programs to help recovery.

Patients who are ideal contenders for the Z-Bell Test℠ frequently have been diagnosed with such concerns as post-concussion syndrome, traumatic brain injury, autism, developmental delay, and learning troubles.

What is the Z-Bell test? 

During the Z-Bell assessment, the Mind-Eye optometrist determines if a patient’s eye-ear connection is working properly by assessing the patient’s ability to trace sound from a ringing bell with their eyes closed.

Suppose the patient has difficulty finding the bell. In that case, the practitioner places several combinations of lenses, prisms, and/or filters over the patient’s closed eyes until the patient can locate the exact place of the sound. The light conducted through a closed eyelid still stimulates retinal activity, just not eyesight. Once correctly diagnosed, a personalized treatment strategy can be developed.

The Z-Bell Test ℠ has demonstrated incredible precision in pinpointing problems that affect balance, attention, depth perception, and awareness. Many mainstream vision care and vision therapy experts are not yet aware of this groundbreaking science even though the method has been verified in a double-blind reproducible study and used for more than twenty years in ten different countries. 

Traumatic brain injuries have become known as a silent epidemic. The good news is the team at the Mind-Eye Institute is making noteworthy headway throughout the world, conducting seminars and training programs and making Z-Bell testing certification available to doctors in the emerging field of neuro-optometric rehabilitation.