RightEye LLC today announced the publication of a study, co-authored by RightEye cofounder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Melissa Hunfalvay, that validates how tracking vertical smooth pursuit (VSP) can help doctors accurately and quantifiably differentiate patients with moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Results from the study were published online in Concussion.
This news expands on RightEye’s previous announcement about the use of eye-tracking technology to identify and measure the severity of TBIs by adding a new vision biomarker. This new vision biomarker can be used to help pinpoint the severity of a patient’s concussion.
“People that suffer moderate to severe concussions end up finding it difficult to visually follow things that move up and down. In studying this, we’ve found a correlation between VSP impairment and concussion severity which can easily be tracked using RightEye’s Brain Health EyeQ,” said Dr. Melissa Hunfalvay.
This is the first study to use eye tracking to compare VSP in healthy subjects to patients with different levels of clinically diagnosed TBI. Ninety-two (92) subjects were recruited from eye health clinics in the United States to take part in the study. There were twenty-three 23 (25% of total participants in all categories of TBI severity) clinically verified participants in each of the following TBI severity levels: no-TBI, mTBI, moderate TBI, and severe TBI. Participants were clinically verified by a board-certified neurologist or neuro-optometrist, according to the medical diagnosis guidelines. The participants with TBI had sustained their head injuries within 30 days prior to the testing.
In this study, variance and Smooth Pursuit (SP)% were the two metrics used to quantify the eye movements associated with smooth pursuit. Analysis of variance metrics revealed significant differences between the TBI groups and the control group. Results indicated that VSP can be used to distinguish between severe and moderate TBI and control groups, but not mild and control groups. Analysis of SP% metrics also yielded a significant difference between groups, along with a main effect. Similar to variance, SP% was able to distinguish severe and moderate groups from control groups but not the mTBI group.
Eye tracking has potential to fill a void in the world of TBI testing. As the only method of objectively and accurately measuring visual behavior, eye tracking can be used to confirm or deny the presence of TBIs in a unique way. The objectivity and accuracy address many of the issues with conventional TBI tests, including subjectivity and inaccurate reporting. VSP is just one of the metrics that can be measured using eye tracking, and even alone this metric offers great insight into a patient’s condition. Combined with other metrics, VSP has potential to offer a quick and easy to administer TBI detection system.