Visual Snow Syndrome

Mindfulness-based Treatment Study

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Visual Snow Syndrome (VSS) is a neurological condition causing disturbance to vision. In VSS, there is a disruption in the brain networks that involve the visual pathway.

In 2019, Dr Sui Wong had a hypothesis that an intensive mindfulness programme can improve VSS, through the training of brain pathways. This is based on previous research showing that mindfulness training can change brain pathways.

We first tested this with a small study, called a feasibility study. This was completed in 2022. The mindfulness programme used was a customised version of the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course.

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What is MBCT-vision?

MBCT is an established 8-week course developed by Segal, Williams and Teasdale (2002)*. MBCT was originally designed to prevent depression.

In our feasibility study, we customised MBCT by replacing discussions about preventing depression, with discussions relevant to VSS. We called the customised MBCT: “MBCT-vision”. The study results are about to be published in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology.

Participants learn mindfulness and cognitive skills in a group learning setting. The course is delivered over 8 weeks. The group meets once a week, with home practice every day.

We are now recruiting people in the UK for a larger MBCT-vision study. Please see the Research Page for more information.

*Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: A new approach to preventing relapse. Guilford Press.
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More information about MBCT-vision

The course teaches mindfulness and cognitive skills.

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to our experience in a gentle and open way. Research studies on mindfulness show that it can change brain networks.

The cognitive skills learnt in MBCT-vision is an approach that looks at how our experiences, thoughts, feelings, and actions all affect one another. And in turn, how making positive changes in one area can affect all the other areas.

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