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Study shows link between eye movement and brain injury

Pennsylvania residents who suffer from traumatic brain injuries may be diagnosed sooner using a technology that measures eye tracking. A doctor and her colleagues have patented a technology known as the EyeBOX that can track the involuntary eye movements of patients. This means that the device can even be used on patients who are unable to follow instructions.

The study was funded by a NASA affiliate that wanted to look at the link between elevated intracranial pressure and eye tracking. Astronauts develop issues that mimic intracranial pressure, and the organization wanted to be able to easily detect the condition. The device shows the patient a music video that includes a square moving on the screen. The patient's eye coordination is measured.

No baseline was required for the study since the eyes move together for almost 99 percent of people. Some patients in the study had suffered a stroke or a tumor and were being monitored for ICP related to that while others had issues such as a brain bleed. The study found that elevated ICP caused a decrease in the brain's nerve function, and the effect happened shortly after ICP elevation. It is hoped that the technology will lead to faster diagnoses of concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

Fast diagnoses can be important when the seriousness of an injury may not be immediately apparent. If injuries are caused by negligent parties, the person responsible may not be held liable if it takes to long to make a diagnosis. In some cases, it can be difficult to demonstrate the link between the incident and the brain injury. Therefore, a person who suffers a head injury in an accident may want to consult an attorney.

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