EyeBrain, a company developing medical devices for the early diagnosis of neurological diseases, announced that its EyeBrain Tracker device is being used in a clinical trial exploring the dyskinesia induced by treating patients suffering from idiopathic Parkinson’s disease with levodopa.
The endpoint of the trial is to find biomarkers for the late-onset complications of a treatment regime using levodopa. This compound, which is naturally transformed into dopamine in the brain, is one of the only drugs available for slowing the effects of Parkinson’s disease. However, over time, it induces dyskinesia in these patients, which takes the form of abnormal movements primarily affecting the face (tongue, lips, jaw) and extending as far as the arms and legs.
Altogether, 30 people will be enrolled on the trial. Half of them will be Parkinson’s sufferers who have been treated with levodopa and have developed dyskinesia, while the other half will consist of healthy subjects who will be used as a control group.
The trial is being sponsored and financed by Bordeaux University Hospital and was set up by professor Jean-Franois Tison, a neurologist attached to the CNRS Physiopathology of Parkinsonian syndromes unit at the University of Bordeaux Two (the Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases, CNRS UMR 5293E, Bezard). The EyeBrain Tracker device is being funded under the joint 2007-2013 State-Region Plan (Aquitaine Regional Council and the FEDER fund).
“Patients suffering from idiopathic Parkinson’s disease will undergo an acute test as part of a pre-operational assessment for stimulating the deep recesses of the brain,” explained Tison. The motricity effects of the treatment will be evaluated by measuring the speed of eye movements with the help of the EyeBrain Tracker.
“We will see whether levodopa modifies the parameters of blinking in a way that is correlated with the improvement in motricity,” said professor Tison. “Using the EyeBrain Tracker enables us to measure the motricity effect through eye movements, since the blinking parameters are also linked to the patient’s general motricity. The patient’s response to this trial is also a predictor of their reaction to the neurosurgery that will follow.”
The EyeBrain Tracker, which is already used in the early diagnosis of Parkinsonian syndromes, such as progressive supra-nuclear paralysis, cortico-basal degeneration and multiple systems atrophy, is thus continuing to broaden its fields of application. It is now playing an important role in clinical research into other neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, and is a valuable aid in the early diagnosis and follow-up of these diseases.