Diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases through eye movements

June 13, 2018, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

A new robotic system developed by UPM researchers and AURA Innovative Robotics Company can help diagnose neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Parkinson's through the analysis of eye movements.

OSCANN Desk is a non-invasive technology developed by researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and the company AURA Innotive Robotics, led by Cecilia García Cena that with a simple, fast can provide data about brain function through the measurement of eye movements.

This new system is in the phase of clinical trial authorized by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices in six Spanish hospitals and, thanks to techniques of imaging processing and machine learning, its results will allow doctors to early diagnose and carry out customized treatments.

The diagnosis process of a neurodegenerative disease takes time since symptoms are complex to assess in the early stages of the disease. Besides, there are symptoms that are common to other neurodegenerative diseases such as tremors. High rates of diagnostic uncertainty make objective tests necessary to achieve an accurate medicine in which each patient receives information, prognosis and appropriate treatment.

The physiological process in medicine explains the eye movements. Accurately measure these movements would provide real-time information about how the brain is working at that moment. From this premise and in order to achieve an early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, researchers from Centre for Automation and Robotics (CAR) CSIC-UPM and AURA Innovative Robotics Startup Company have developed OSCANN desk, an assistant medical device that through techniques of image processing and machine learning is able to accurately assess the .

Thanks to this new tool, doctors will have objective data of the brain functioning that, along with other clinical data, will enable accurate early diagnosis of the .

The test is conducted in a health care center with no need for a second doctor's appointment. The patient sits comfortably in a chair and the device is adapted to his anatomy to precisely measure the eye . The patient looks at stimuli that appear on a monitor, and each test lasts about a minute.

The clinical tests allowed researchers to develop models of pathologies, and by applying machine learning techniques, similarities and differences are analyzed among over 500 variables of eye movement. Likewise, the progress of certain symptoms can be objectively measured. This will help doctors to make a diagnosis and customize the treatment.

Today, the tests are applied to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, mild cognitive impairment, diverse dementias, multiple sclerosis, and others. Additionally, researchers are collaborating on other clinical studies such as those for autistic spectrum disorders, epilepsy, diabetes, alcoholism, migraines, depression and bipolar disorder. This tool is being used in six hospitals that are national reference centers in pathologies.

In the near future, OSCANN Desk will be working in HM Hospitals, specifically in the Memory Disorders Unit of HM CINAC located at the Hospital Universitario HM Madrid.

Explore further: New way of defining Alzheimer's aims to find disease sooner

Related Stories

New way of defining Alzheimer's aims to find disease sooner

April 10, 2018
Government and other scientists are proposing a new way to define Alzheimer's disease—basing it on biological signs, such as brain changes, rather than memory loss and other symptoms of dementia that are used today.

New brain visualisation of Alzheimer's at different ages holds out hope for faster diagnosis and treatment

September 28, 2017
As Alzheimer's disease is associated with a wide variety of symptoms, usually observed through patients' behaviour and actions, effective and timely treatment has proven elusive. An EU-funded project has contributed towards ...

Accelerated MRI brain mapping technique to improve neurodegenerative diagnosis

November 16, 2016
A new brain imaging technique developed by University of Queensland researchers is paving the way for improved diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

Potential noninvasive test for Alzheimer's disease

September 6, 2017
In the largest and most conclusive study of its kind, researchers have analysed blood samples to create a novel and non-invasive way of helping to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and distinguishing between different types of ...

New method maps the dopamine system in Parkinson's patients

February 14, 2018
With the aid of a PET camera, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have developed a new method for investigating the dopamine system in the brains of patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. The method measures ...

Wearable devices could diagnose illness as it emerges

February 26, 2018
Wearable medical sensors used widely in hospitals and clinics are spreading into the mainstream as tech companies increasingly incorporate them into popular electronics, from Apple's smart watches to Fitbit fitness bands.

Recommended for you

Marker may help target treatments for Crohn's patients

October 16, 2018
Crohn's disease (CD), a chronic inflammatory condition of the intestinal tract, has emerged as a global disease, with rates steadily increasing over the last 50 years. Experts have long suspected that CD likely represents ...

Polio: Environmental monitoring will be key as world reaches global eradication

October 15, 2018
Robust environmental monitoring should be used as the world approaches global eradication of polio, say University of Michigan researchers who recently studied the epidemiology of the 2013 silent polio outbreak in Rahat, ...

Study traces hospital-acquired bloodstream infections to patients' own bodies

October 15, 2018
The most common source of a bloodstream infection acquired during a hospital stay is not a nurse's or doctor's dirty hands, or another patient's sneeze or visitor's cough, but the patient's own gut, Stanford University School ...

Researchers make essential imaging tests safer for people at risk of acute kidney injury

October 15, 2018
Every year, millions of people undergo medical tests and procedures, such as coronary angiography, which use intravascular contrast dyes. "For the majority of patients, these are safe and necessary procedures. However, about ...

Medical marijuana might help MS patients, but uncertainty remains

October 13, 2018
Medical products derived from marijuana might have a mild benefit in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, based on reports from patients.

Do not give decongestants to young children for common cold symptoms, say experts

October 11, 2018
Decongestants should not be given to children under 6—and given with caution in children under 12—as there is no evidence that they alleviate symptoms such as a blocked or runny nose, and their safety is unclear, say ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.