ChronicNeurotoxins, Inc. Visual Contrast Sensitivity Test Center
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Did you know? You should wear your glasses when taking the VCS test if they help you see better at the 18 inch test distance.

This website provides information on chronic human illness caused by exposure to toxins produced by living organisms (biotoxins). Many biotoxins are neurotoxins in that they adversely affect neurologic function. Registered users will be able to complete questionnaires on exposure history, medical history and current symptoms. Users can also take a vision screening test that helps determine whether or not their health problems are likely to be caused by biotoxins. Deficits on the vision test, visual contrast sensitivity, have been associated with chronic illness caused by biotoxin exposure (1-8). If the data suggest biotoxin-induced illness, users can obtain a treatment protocol that has been used to successfully treat many people.

Organisms that Produce Biotoxins
Many types of organisms produce substances that are toxic to humans. These include dinoflagellates found in estuaries and the ocean, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) found in fresh water, fungi (mold) found in indoor air and outdoors, and some types of bacteria. Our initial research on acute and chronic, biotoxin-induced illness associated a complex of non-specific symptoms and deficits in visual contrast sensitivity with exposure to estuaries inhabited by the fish-killing dinoflagellate, Pfiesteria piscicida, and other toxic dinoflagellates in the toxic Pfiesteria complex (1-8). Treatment for this illness, called Possible Estuary Associated Syndrome (PEAS) by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; 9), according to our protocol was associated with recovery of vision and resolution of symptoms. Subsequent research indicated that this paradigm generalizes to chronic illness thought to be caused by toxins from a marine dinoflagellate, Ciguatera (Chronic Ciguatera Seafood Poisoning), cyanobacteria such as Cylindrospermopsis and Microcystis, various species of fungi such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Fusarium, and by spiders such as the Brown Recluse. Our research also suggested that toxins from tick-borne pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease organism) and Babesia microti may cause chronic illness even after the spirochetes or intracellular protozoa (also called apicomplexans) have been killed by antibiotics. People who cannot naturally eliminate biotoxins develop chronic illness. The toxins can be eliminated, however, by using our treatment protocol, and good health can be restored.

Standard medical diagnostic tests are usually normal in patients who have these biotoxin-induced illnesses, which makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. We have a simple tool that assists in diagnosis by showing evidence of a neurological deficit. That screening tool is the visual contrast sensitivity test (VCS). A positive VCS test, in the presence of biotoxin exposure potential, and a symptom complex involving multiple systems, and in the absence of other historical, medical or treatment conditions that likely explain the symptoms, provide a basis for making a diagnosis of Probable Biotoxin-Mediated Illness. Users of this website can take a screening version of the VCS test and complete questionnaires on exposure potential, symptoms and medical history. When biotoxins are suspected, users can purchase a package that includes the treatment protocol and three additional vision tests that can be used to monitor recovery during treatment.

How the VCS Test Works
The visual system includes a complex neurological network that involves the retina, optic nerve, brain nuclei and the visual cortex. One of the main outputs of the visual system is pattern vision. The VCS tests is an indicator of ability to detect visual patterns. The test measures the least amount of contrast between light and dark bars (sinusoidal grating) that is needed for the viewer to detect the bars. VCS is measured at five different bar sizes (spatial frequencies) because perception of different bar sizes is mediated by different physiological components, and these components are differentially susceptible to effects from different toxic substances (10-17). The largest effects of biotoxins are at the mid-size bars (1-8). To measure VCS, viewers are presented a series of bar patterns at each of the five bar sizes. Viewers respond by indicating that the bars are tilted to the left, tilted to the right, are straight up and down, or that they cannot see any bars. The pattern with the lowest contrast that is correctly identified is the measure of VCS for that bar size. Upon completing the VCS test, viewers receive a message indicating that biotoxins are (positive) or are not (negative) likely to be involved in their illness. The criteria for getting a "positive" VCS result is set high to avoid false positive results. This occasionally results in a false negative result; some cases of chronic-biotoxin induced illness may pass the VCS test a some times. VCS can be measured during treatment to monitor recovery.

To Learn Much More, Please Register (at NO COST)

No guarantees for a cure for any disease are implicitly or explicitly given to anyone. No single vision test can fully describe function of the visual system or conclusively indicate the presence or absence of neurotoxins or neurotoxicity. Diagnoses cannot be made and medications cannot be prescribed without seeing a physician in person.

ChronicNeurotoxins, Inc.
500 Market Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

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Prior to launching a new version of this website in June, 2002, the earlier version had been online for about a year and a half. Over 3,600 registered users had taken the preliminary and VCS tests. About half of the test results were positive for potential chronic, neurotoxin-induced illness. We do not know exactly how many of those used our treatment protocol with their local physician, or the outcome for all that did. We do know, however, that many used the protocol with success.