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Placebo treatment 100% restores blind woman’s vision

An 80-year-old woman who lost her sight more than a decade ago due to glaucoma recently regained her vision after receiving a placebo treatment for chronic back pain.

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One night 12 years ago, Lynley Hood, a writer from Dunedin, New Zealand, was reading a book when the vision in her left eye suddenly became blurry. She chalked it up to fatigue and decided to go to bed, but the blurry vision was still there the next morning.

Soon she was diagnosed with a rather rare form of glaucoma, and the doctor informed her that her condition would probably never improve and that now the only thing left was to prevent the disease from progressing.

She eventually went blind, but then, more than ten years later, a real miracle happened – the woman’s sight returned completely.

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In 2020, Linley Hood fell and fractured her pelvis, causing her to experience severe back pain. However, this circumstance turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it gave her the opportunity to participate in a research project at the University of Otago on the treatment of chronic pain.

The project, in which Linley Hood took part, consisted of two groups. Participants in both groups had to wear a special helmet with connected electrodes.

One group received full electrical brain stimulation, while the other placebo group received only superficial stimulation at the level of the scalp.

Linley Hood, 80, was in the placebo group (unknowingly), but after four weeks of electrical stimulation, her impaired vision recovered almost 100 percent. The ophthalmologist just couldn’t believe it.

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“Surprisingly, her vision improved so much that her ophthalmologist said it was a miracle,” project co-leader Dr. Divya Adhya told the Otago Daily Times.

“Miracle is not a word we often use in science, but it was a miracle. It wasn’t the expected result, but to see that my research has really made an impact on people is really wonderful.”

Having lived with poor eyesight for 12 years, Linley Hood is now adjusting to her new life and she can return to writing.

“At first I thought I was imagining it,” said the award-winning author. “They have such equipment with flash that they could track every millisecond of current – it went through my scalp and into my eyes.”

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No one knows for sure how the electrical stimulation restored Mrs. Hood’s vision, but Dr. Adhya and her team are definitely looking forward to finding out.

They are now preparing for another study that will run in parallel with the Chronic Pain Study to determine how electrical stimulation has helped an 80-year-old woman and may help others in a similar situation.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.