Charles Bonnet Syndrome

What is Charles Bonnet Syndrome?

Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) arises following vision loss from diseases causing blindness such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or glaucoma. Individuals with CBS experience visual images such as people, landscapes or patterns that do not exist in reality, also known as visual hallucinations. Often this experience is misdiagnosed as dementia or a mental health issue rather than an imbalance between the loss of vision and the active visual brain. Experiencing CBS hallucinations is emotionally unsettling and highly disruptive to daily life and presently there is no treatment.

The York University and CVR Study

Associate Dean of Science & Professor Jennifer Steeves is investigating a therapeutic treatment using TMS to provide a safe and effective non-invasive therapy for visual hallucinations following loss of vision. This novel study will determine how much brain stimulation is required and what changes are happening in the brain to eliminate CBS hallucinations. This investigation from the Centre for Vision Research will offer the only existing treatment to improve the lives of people suffering from CBS hallucinations thereby significantly improving quality of life. If you are interested in this study or would like to participate, please email infovista@yorku.ca

International Resources & Services

If you have Charles Bonnet Syndrome or you know someone who may have the condition, the following resources and services are available online:

Canadian National Institute for the Blind - www.cnib.ca/en

Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada - www.visionlossrehab.ca/en

Royal National Institute of Blind People, UK - www.rnib.org.uk

Macular Society, UK - www.macularsociety.org

Charles Bonnet Syndrome Foundation, Australia - www.charlesbonnetsyndrome.org

American Foundation for the Blind - www.visionaware.org

American & Canadian Directory - www.visionaware.org

If you cannot find the correct service from the list above or would like to take part in the CBS York University Study in Canada, please email infovista@yorku.ca