Hey shipmates!! Thought I'd just drop a quick note to let you know about the Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex (VOR) test that I just completed at the University of Kansas this past week. I mentioned in an earlier post that this mechanical engineering test was going on and they were using AN volunteers to help with data collection. It was really interesting and I have to admit really tiring. The purpose is to design a diagnostic tool that doctor's can use to diagnose stuff from potential AN tumors, to osteo malfunctions based on the relationship between eye movement, balance nerve, and brain functions.
They fitted me with a little hat made from the inside of a construction workers hard hat that had several electrodes attached, the little adjustment knob in the back bored into my head like something out of the movie "Matrix". I then had electrodes attached to my cheeks under the eyes, also on each side of my eyes and finally a couple of electrodes in the middle of my forehead. One last set of electrodes were attached to my spine at the base of my neck. I then sat in a dark room on a hard stiff backed chair with my eyes fixed on a tiny red light and moved my head side to side and up and down in time with a metronome that kept getting faster and faster until I was shaking my head like someone trying to hear the marbles rattle.
The test lasted for a little over two hours. The grad students conducting the test said they would email me my results as soon as they were anaylized. They did tell me that my up and down (vertical) movement was almost perfectly normal. I did have discrepancies in my left to right (horizontal) movement, probably because of my AN surgery (WELL, DUH!). The doctor's who are working the project were really great and they hope that this will develop into a quick, easy, (similar to a hearing test), method for doctor's to diagnose immediately the possible existence of an Acoustic Neuroma, thereby getting to the tumors before they grow to a level where drastic measures have to be taken to deal with the tumor.
When I get the results I'll pass them on. I only hope that the time spent by myself and other AN patients in helping the University will help them make things easier for those that come behind us.