John-Paul's story

“Support from the Macular Society is allowing us to undertake one of the most detailed studies to understand and potentially treat visual hallucinations in people with AMD.”

At Newcastle University, a team led by Dr John-Paul Taylor is researching a possible treatment for visual hallucinations in people with AMD.

Nearly half of people who develop macular degeneration experience recurrent visual hallucinations, a condition known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS).

These hallucinations can be highly disturbing and there is very limited evidence about how they can be treated. 

The study is looking to develop a new treatment to stop the hallucinations, using a technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

This involves placing two pads on the head and passing a mild electric current between them.

The aim is to normalise over-activity in the part of the brain that deals with vision, which is thought to be a major factor in why people experience CBS hallucinations.