New eye-tracking device for earlier diagnosis of Parkinson-plus diseases


A new eye-tracking system, Mobile EBT, is available on the market for the detection of Parkinson-plus diseases. The device has already been used on around 100 patients to test for these syndromes. Results have shown that eye movements provide a more accurate early diagnosis than traditional clinical examinations.

The eye-tracking is the only medical device to offer early diagnosis for a number of neurological diseases based on eye movements of patients. Furthermore, the Mobile EBT is non-invasive and costs less than regularly used imaging techniques, such as MRI or X-rays. It was developed in conjunction with La Pitié-Salpêtrière neurology team in Paris.


The new device offers the earlier detection of diseases, and can help distinguish between various Parkinson-plus syndromes, like progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, as well as multiple system atrophy. The eye-tracking system also allows monitoring of the progression of the disease in patients, and can be used for example during clinical trials.


Several brain areas are known to be involved in eye movements, and when a parameter of eye movement is abnormal, it could indicate dysfunction in the corresponding brain area. According to a study done by EyeBrain, to be published in 2011, eye movement tests provide a better basis for final diagnosis than traditional neurological examination of supranuclear palsy, the most frequent Parkinson-plus syndrome.


“The EBT provides real support to our work at diagnosing Parkinson-plus diseases, which are usually very difficult to detect, especially at an early stage,” said Bertrand Gaymard, neurologist, Hospital Pitié-Salpêtrière, AP-HP, Paris. “With the help of this new system, we can also keep track of the development of different syndromes, which also helps our scientific work significantly.”


The eye brain tracker provides a complete solution including a helmet, a computer and two screens plus the software needed for stimulation and analysis.


The Mobile EBT is the first device of its kind in the world to have obtained CE marking and is available in France, Belgium and Luxembourg since June 2010. It is expected to be launched soon in the UK, Ireland and European Nordic countries.