A stroke is a life-changing event that can have long-lasting impact on the quality of life of an individual. Up to two-thirds of patients with unilateral brain injury suffer from neglect, defined as the inability to report, respond, or orient to novel or meaningful stimuli presented to the side opposite to the brain lesion. The presence of neglect within the first week following a stroke has been suggested to be a strong predictor of poor functional recovery. Early identification and intervention improves functional outcomes. However, the current diagnosis is based on paper and pencil tasks and results from previous research have shown that neglect deficits may be overlooked.
Eye-tracking using video-oculography (VOG) technique is being explored as a sensitive methodology to identify stroke deficits. A study by Delazer et al 2018 , demonstrates the feasibility of this method in the evaluation of acute middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarct. The study quantified gaze and saccade measurements in different visual exploration tasks in patients with and without neglect as well as healthy controls. The results identified differences in fixation duration, number of fixations, and saccades in between the three groups. A new study, by Kaufmann et al 2020 , further explored new analysis approaches of VOG data from neglect patients to improve the sensitivity of the method. Together, these studies indicate that eye-tracking measurements are highly informative regarding the characteristics of visual exploration patterns and have high sensitivity. Furthermore, the technology augmented by powerful data analysis algorithms may be a sensitive measure for tracking spontaneous recovery or progress in the therapeutic setting.
To learn more about eye-tracking VOG methods contact Neurolign at 1-800-895-7405.