Researchers use eye-tracking device to detect Alzheimer's - Fox 2 News Headlines

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.

  • Explore, Learn About Nature At Elachee Nature Science Center

    Explore, Learn About Nature At Elachee Nature Science Center

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:34 AM EDT2014-07-21 13:34:54 GMT
    Summer is the perfect time to get out and explore nature. And there's no better place to do it than at one of North Georgia's most beautiful and unique environmental education centers.
    Summer is the perfect time to get out and explore nature. And there's no better place to do it than at one of North Georgia's most beautiful and unique environmental education centers.
  • Renters turned down for loans can still buy

    Renters turned down for loans can still buy

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:29 AM EDT2014-07-21 12:29:31 GMT
    It you are renting and happy, then good for you. But if you are like most Americans, you hope to one day own a home of your own. Real estate expert John Adams is here to offer three ways you can own the house you want without a traditional home loan.
    It you are renting and happy, then good for you. But if you are like most Americans, you hope to one day own a home of your own. Real estate expert John Adams is here to offer three ways you can own the house you want without a traditional home loan.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

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