Aug 04 2015

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Eye Tracking and Brain Injuries

It has been said that the eyes are the window to the brain but can the eyes be the window to brain injuries as well?

As seen in the World Cup finals match between the USA and Japan, when two players attempting to head the ball instead head-butted each other, they were each required to pass concussion tests in order to continue playing in the game. What did those tests consist of? Well, we’re glad you asked. They consisted of various eye-tracking exercises to rule out any concussion-like symptoms, like following the trainer’s finger around with the eyes, and tests of that nature. This clearly shows that eye movement and tracking is one of the most important ways to determine if one suffered a brain injury. See the full article about eye tracking and concussions here.

eye tr acking concussion test

Morgan Brian after a head collision at the 2015 Women’s World Cup

“Concussion is a condition that has been plagued by the lack of an objective diagnostic tool, which in turn has helped drive confusion and fears among those affected and their families,” said Dr. Uzma Samadani, founder of Oculogica and Rockswold Kaplan endowed chair at Hennepin County Medical Center, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota.”Our new eye-tracking methodology may be the missing piece to help better diagnose concussion severity, enable testing of diagnostics and therapeutics, and help assess recovery, such as when a patient can safely return to work following a head injury,” she explained.

According to researchers, it’s believed that up to 90 percent of patients with concussions have eye movement problems, but the current method of assessing eye movement is asking a patient to follow the doctor’s finger.

Researchers performed an experiment, detailed in the article, that procured results stating the more severe the concussion, the worse a patient’s eye movement problems.

eye tracking diagnoses concussions in athletes

Eye tracking can help determine whether an athlete with a head injury has a concussion

Dr. M. Sean Grady, chair of the neurosurgery department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, said, “The importance of this study is that it establishes a reliable test and a ‘biological’ marker for detecting concussion. Since concussion can occur without loss of consciousness, this can be particularly important in sideline evaluations in athletics or in military settings where individuals are highly motivated to return to activity and may minimize their symptoms. More work is needed to establish its sensitivity and specificity, but it is very promising.”


Hat tip to our stellar summer intern Jacob, who kindly took time off of mending chicken wire to research and write this post.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.umoove.me/?p=268

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