Navigation Links
Eye-Tracking Tool Might Quickly Spot Stroke

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- The key to correctly diagnosing when a case of dizziness is just vertigo or a life-threatening stroke may be surprisingly simple: a pair of goggles that measures eye movement at the bedside in as little as one minute, a new study contends.

"This is the first study demonstrating that we can accurately discriminate strokes and non-strokes using this device," said Dr. David Newman-Toker, lead author of a paper on the technique that is published in the April issue of the journal Stroke.

Some 100,000 strokes are misdiagnosed as something else each year in the United States, resulting in 20,000 to 30,000 deaths or severe physical and speech impairments, the researchers said.

As with heart attacks, the key to treating stroke and potentially saving a person's life is speed. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the current gold standard for assessing stroke, can take up to six hours to complete and costs $1,200, said Newman-Toker, who is an associate professor of neurology and otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Sometimes people don't even get as far as an MRI, and may be sent home with a first "mini stroke" that is followed by a devastating second stroke, he added.

The new study findings come with some significant caveats, however.

For one thing, the study was a small one, involving only 12 patients.

"It is impossible for a small study to prove 100 percent accuracy," said Dr. Daniel Labovitz, director of the Stern Stroke Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, who was not involved with the study. About 4 percent of dizziness cases in the emergency room are caused by stroke.

The other caveat is that the device is not yet approved in the United States for diagnosing stroke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only recently gave it approval for use in assessing balance. It has been available in Europe for that purpose for about a year.

The device -- known as a video-oculography machine -- is a modification of a "head impulse test," which is used regularly for people with chronic dizziness and other inner ear-balance disorders.

"There are 500 otolaryngologists and 4 million dizzy patients in the U.S. alone," Newman-Toker said. "We [otolaryngologists] can't see everybody and [emergency room physicians] can't easily be trained to develop expertise in eye movement interpretation."

"Now we have a device that can do it for them," he added.

The test is simple to perform: Wearing a pair of goggles hooked up to a webcam and special software, the patient is asked to focus on one spot on the wall while the doctor moves the patient's head from side to side.

"Normally, the balance system in the ears keeps our eyes stable when our head is moving," Newman-Toker explained.

For people with vertigo, the test is "almost always abnormal," he said. But stroke patients, even though they have the same dizzy symptoms, don't have this impairment.

In this small, "proof-of-concept" study, the test was 100 percent accurate when compared with MRI, sorting out six people with strokes and six without, the researchers said.

Newman-Toker believes the test could one day be incorporated into a smartphone application.

Labovitz said the device could be a "game changer" if its value is confirmed in larger studies. "This is such an important area where we struggle all the time," he said.

GN Otometrics, which makes the device, loaned the devices for the study, but the research was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other Swiss and U.S. health organizations.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on stroke.

SOURCES: David Newman-Toker, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology and otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore; Daniel Labovitz, M.D., director, Stern Stroke Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; April 2013, Stroke

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Combo Treatment Might Beat Epidural to Ease Labor: Study
2. 5 Rheumatology Procedures You Might Not Need
3. Higher Indoor Humidity Levels Might Slow Flus Spread
4. When Kids Exercise More, Their Grades Might Rise Too
5. Foods Might Serve Up High Levels of Chemicals Found in Plastics
6. Iron-Rich Diet Might Ease PMS Misery
7. Small molecules in the blood might gauge radiation effects after exposure
8. Lung Cancer Asbestos Victims Center Now Urges Current Lung Cancer Victims Who Were Exposed to Asbestos at Work to Call Them About What Might be Significant Compensation
9. Infants Inattentiveness Might Signal Later Autism, Study Says
10. Southern Diet Might Explain the Stroke Belt
11. Nerve-Stimulating Device Might Ease Migraines
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Eye-Tracking Tool Might Quickly Spot Stroke
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Many people know of the common symptoms of low thyroid hormone (also ... many people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are creeping up are more ... they don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid hormone plays a major ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... has focused on providing comprehensive solutions involving adult stem cell therapies to patients ... officially deemed the “Regenestem” name as a Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... lower prices in an early celebration of the early holiday shopping season. Starting ... $29.95 each (normally $33.95 ea). Black Friday promotional pricing is in addition to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Eric C. Seidel, DMD ... benefits of the revolutionary BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system. This advanced laser technology ... by a dentist in Gettysburg, PA . From routine visits to cosmetic ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... New patients who wish to seek treatment for missing teeth can now visit ... ON practice. Dr. Williams has been providing dental service for over 34 years, and ... can lead to a variety of complications if they are not replaced quickly, including ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... leader in non-invasive genetic testing and the ... that it will present at the 27 ... York on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET.  Matthew Rabinowitz, ... Company,s financial results, business activities and financial ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  In the pharmaceutical industry, companies want ... to quickly uncover new insights, tactics and strategies that ... --> However, organizations often find it ... and ensure that all rules and regulations are met ... major barrier to efficiently launching market research projects is ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nueva York , 24 ... Devices (ABD), fabricante del Avery Breathing Pacemaker System, ... Jonzon , MD; Ph.D. como consultor clínico. ...   --> Foto - ... El doctor Jonzon es un fisiólogo y ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: