EyeBrain launches eye-tracking device for diagnosis of Parkinson-plus diseases

7 Feb 2011

French company EyeBrain has announced that its eye-tracking system, Mobile Eye Brain Tracker, is available on the market for the detection of Parkinson-plus diseases.

Parkinson-plus syndromes are a group of neurodegenerative diseases featuring the classical features of Parkinson’s with additional features that distinguish them from simple idiopathic Parkinson's disease. They represent 15% of Parkinson syndromes, and they are usually more rapidly progressive and less likely to respond to anti-parkinsonian medication than Parkinson's disease. As these disorders are very difficult to diagnose at an early stage, neurologists usually wait for a minimum of two years before they can provide a final diagnosis.

The Mobile Eye Brain Tracker (MObile EBT) 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 company’s device is currently 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 Mobile EBT device, however, offers the earlier detection of diseases, and can help distinguish between various Parkinson-plus syndromes, like progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), as well as multiple system atrophy (MSA). The device 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 (PSP), the most frequent Parkinson-plus syndrome.

The Mobile EBT has been available in France, Belgium and Luxembourg since June 2010, and is expected to be launched soon in the UK, Ireland and European Nordic countries. It is already CE-marked for Europe. EyeBrain’s production capacity is about fifty devices a year and can be easily upgraded.

“Our Mobile EBTs are fully integrated and normalized systems that can handle the entire clinical examination from stimuli display to eye-movement capture and to data analysis and interpretation,” said Serge Kinkingnehun, Founder, CEO and Scientific Director of EyeBrain. “Our experience with many users has been excellent so far, and we look forward to seeing continuing success in speeding up the diagnosis for patients suffering from a number of neurological diseases.”

“We are delighted that many key opinion leaders in oculomotricity are also supporting us, alongside the Hospital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière with whom we jointly designed the system,” he added.

“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 Dr. Bertrand Gaymard, neurologist, Hôpital 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.”


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