Researchers use eye-tracking device to detect Alzheimer's - FOX 35 News Orlando

FOX Medical Team

Researchers use eye-tracking device to detect Alzheimer's

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Researchers in Atlanta may have found a new way to detect the first signs of Alzheimer's disease years before a person develops symptoms. They're using a device that tracks eye movement, and it's a simple and painless test.

Alzheimer's disease progressively damages the brain over time. That damage often begins up to 20 years before a person is diagnosed. So the challenge is to find a way to detect the disease earlier and researchers are trying to do that by tracking your eye movement.

Researchers say eye-tracking technology gives them a window into the brain.
      
Dr. Stuart Zola, Director of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, says eye-tracking is promising because it gives researchers a way to differentiate between someone with early-stage memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment, and someone with normal brain function.

"But more importantly, it allows us to say about three years before people have symptoms whether or not they are on a trajectory for Alzheimer's disease," said Zola.

Volunteers sit in front of a screen as images flash before their eyes. People with healthy brain function usually have no trouble staying focused on the changing images. But, volunteers with memory problems have a slight delay in their response to new images, maybe because they're not remembering the previous one.
     
Zola says the hope is to speed up the diagnosis of MCI by a few years.
    
"That provides an extraordinary, extraordinary ability now because it means that people will have time to prepare for that eventuality," said Zola

That means time to get treatment, and slow the progressive disease down.
       
Eye-tracking is still experimental, but Dr. Zola predicts that one day soon, you may able to take a similar test using your laptop, and send the results to your doctor to interpret.

If you're thinking "I've seen this eye tracking" before," you're right. Researchers at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta are also studying eye-tracking. They're using it to try to detect the first signs of autism in babies and toddlers.
     
Zola says if they can fine tune the technology, they may be able to spot Alzheimer's disease five or 10 years earlier.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

    Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:05 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:05:59 GMT
    Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.
    Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.
  • 2014 Southern Living inspired home open for tours

    2014 Southern Living inspired home open for tours

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:37 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:37:06 GMT
    It's the first of its kind -- and if you're goal is to live a "perfectly Southern" lifestyle, it might be the home for you. The 2014 Southern Living Inspired Home is now open in Toccoa,
    It's the first of its kind -- and if you're goal is to live a "perfectly Southern" lifestyle, it might be the home for you. The 2014 Southern Living Inspired Home is now open in Toccoa, GA at Currahee Club.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices