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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Paul Domb, co-founder, the Visual Snow Initiative (VSI), presented an abstract brain sculpture to neuroscientist Dr. Edward (Ed) Boyden on April 3 at the McGovern Reading Room. Márton Váró created ‘The Brain’ sculpture given to Dr. Boyden for his support to help advance a cure for Visual Snow Syndrome (VSS), a debilitating neurological condition that affects people worldwide.
The VSI is a 501c3 U.S. charity founded to encourage collaboration, support education, develop resources to alleviate symptoms and raise funds to fast track a cure for VSS. People with VSS see the world through an overlay of tiny, snow-like dots like a static TV, which is a battle without any relief that occurs 24/7, even when they close their eyes. This distorted vision, combines with other symptoms, such as impaired night vision, tinnitus and migraines, to make everyday tasks like reading, driving or living a full life a challenge.
Since May 2018, award-winning neuroscientist Dr. Boyden has consulted with the VSI’s global researchers on new technologies to treat or cure VSS.
“My work involves developing tools for analyzing and repairing complex biological systems, such as the brain, which is often puzzling. Visual Snow Syndrome poses a dilemma for physicians trying to make a diagnosis because it affects eyesight but is a brain issue and not an eye disorder,” states Boyden. “When I learned about the challenges diagnosing this syndrome and the daily plight many with it face, sometimes going years without a diagnosis or answers, I wanted to help.”
“Our approach to rapidly find a cure for Visual Snow Syndrome is to foster collaboration between global researchers, scientists and physicians and avoid the loss of precious time to isolated, sometimes duplicate efforts,” says Domb. “Matching technology expertise with the medical community can create unconventional solutions. Through liaising with our researchers and providing referrals, Dr. Boyden’s generous support is doing just that and moving us closer to help people worldwide suffering from this syndrome.”
Classically trained, award-winning sculptor Váró sculpted the ‘The Brain,’ using his cube-like building block technique, which evolved from using drapery folds to build figures. “In creating figures, I found reducing torso size fragments to cubes opened a unique way for me to build compositions that were both abstract and realistic,” he explains. “Applying this technique to represent the human anatomy’s various shapes and in this case, the brain’s complex folds, was a natural next step.”
Personal gratitude compelled him to donate ‘The Brain’ to the VSI and, via Domb, to Dr. Boyden.
“As the father of a child with a serious eye condition that could only be cured by U.S. experts, I’m sensitive to children with vision problems and those who can help them,” says Váró. “So when I learned about the Visual Snow Initiative, I decided to donate my newest version of the Brain Cubes to support its efforts.”
Váró created his first version of the brain cubes in bronze and it was presented to a Dr. Tamás Freund, one of the first Lundbeck Brain Prize recipients, in 2011. Coincidently, Váró’s brain cube creations have gone full circle, as Dr. Boyden won the same prize in 2013.
About the Visual Snow Initiative - The Visual Snow Initiative (VSI) is a 501c3 U.S. charity. It was created in May 2018 to encourage collaboration, support education, develop resources to alleviate symptoms and raise research funds to fast track a cure for Visual Snow Syndrome (VSS) – a neurological condition that impairs a person’s vision, among other symptoms. It is a public charity under the fiscal sponsorship of the Edward Charles Foundation and all donations to it are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
For more information, photos or interviews with Dr. Boyden, Márton Váró or a VSI spokesperson,