Eye Test Helps Diagnose Neurological Disorders

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A new test that measures eye movement while watching television helps detect neurological disorders earlier including Parkinson’s disease, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The low-cost test, developed at Queen’s University and the University of Southern California, provides new insight into how specific disorders affect attention.

“It’s key to get a diagnosis of autism as early as possible so that children get the appropriate therapy they need early. Diagnosing Parkinson’s early is also important so people at risk can start treatments or alterations in lifestyle that are deemed protective right away,” says Douglas Munoz (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences), a lead researcher on the study and principal investigator at the Queen’s Eye-Movement Laboratory.

Study participants watched television while the research team repeatedly changed the channel. Researchers recorded the participant’s eye movements and compared the data against control subjects to determine abnormal eye movement patterns indicative of brain abnormality.

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The eye test is currently available at Hotel Dieu Hospital and can be used on children as young as six months old. Dr. Munoz hopes one day the test will be available in all clinics and doctor’s offices as part of regular examinations especially for young children and the elderly.

Queen’s professors Giovanna Pari (School of Medicine), James Reynolds (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) and Ian Cameron (University of California, Berkeley) worked with Dr. Munoz on the project. The group used a computer program developed at USC to analyze data collected from the eye tests.

source: Queen’s University

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.

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