Have you experienced visual hallucinations known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome?

Posted: Wednesday 21 February 2018

Newcastle University is looking for people diagnosed with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) and currently experiencing frequent visual hallucinations to take part in a study.

Currently, there are no effective treatments for visual hallucinations in people with eye disease and it’s common for people with eye disease to experience vivid, persistent visual hallucinations. These hallucinations can sometimes be distressing and disrupt day-to-day life.

Research has shown that areas of the brain involved in visual perception may be over-active in people with CBS. A new treatment called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which involves the passing of a weak electric current between two pads placed on a person’s scalp, has been found to change activity levels in certain areas of the brain. The University is keen to investigate whether this treatment can decrease activity in areas of the brain which may be over-active in CBS and which may be contributing to causing visual hallucinations.

Participation will require five visits across one week. For the first and last visit, volunteers will need to attend the research site at Newcastle University, where visual hallucinations, vision and brain activity will be assessed using electroencephalolgraphy, transcranial magnetic stimulation and brain imaging. This will last around two hours. During the rest of the week, volunteers will receive tDCS treatment, which will take no more than 45 minutes and can be carried out at home. After four weeks, the treatment and tests will be repeated. Pre-paid travel expenses will be covered for all visits to the research site.

If you are interested in taking part and would like more information, please contact Kat da Silva Morgan by telephone on 0191 208 1341, or by email k.da-silva-morgan@ncl.ac.uk.