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Study: Eye-Movement Reflects Cognitive Dysfunction

September 30, 2015

In a paper published in Nature Reviews Neurology, researchers at Monash University have revealed that eye movement measures can help identify the presence and progression of Multiple Sclerosis. By following simple commands, movement of the eye has shown to reflect our cognitive or thought processes.

"Over the past 10 years, our studies have shown that eye movement measures can reveal abnormal cognitive processes in MS patients, at all stages of the disease, even where a diagnosis is only suspected. Further, we have been able to show that the degree of abnormality increases with disease duration," commented Dr. Joanne Fielding from the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University.

This discovery has potential to be a great tool when it comes to patient management, especially determining whether the disease has been progressing or if a treatment is working. The keys to this will be analyzing eye sensitivity and how easily the patient is moving their eye.

"We propose that it may be possible, therefore to use eye movement measures to assist with early diagnosis, especially given that cognitive changes are thought to be among the earliest changes seen in MS, to monitor disease progression over time, and to monitor responses to treatment. These are the aims of our ongoing studies," Dr. Fielding said.