Robotic system identifies neurodegenerative diseases through eye movements


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Researchers in Spain have developed a new technology which, they say, could help diagnose neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease, through the analysis of eye movements.

OSCANN Desk is a non-invasive technology which utilises an eye-tracker sensor based on video electro-oculography (VOG) technology to capture eye movements and store them in video files. During the test, a patient looks at a stimulus that appears on a monitor and their eye movement is measured. The tests allow researchers to develop models of pathologies and by applying machine learning techniques, similarities and differences are searched among over 500 variables of eye movement. 

The tests are currently being applied in the management of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, mild cognitive impairment, diverse dementias and multiple sclerosis, among other conditions. The researchers are also collaborating in other clinical research in areas including autistic spectrum disorders, migraines, and bipolar disorders. 

A characterisation study of the device, published in Sensors earlier this year, concluded that the device can be considered a powerful tool to measure oculomotor movement alterations involved in some neurological disease progression. A clinical trial of the system is now currently underway in six Spanish hospitals, with plans to expand the system further. 

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