New technique to diagnose schizophrenia by eye movement

If prevention of the disease is impossible, then you should at least try to diagnose it as early as possible. To this end, modern medicine is actively practicing cross-diagnostic methods, identifying indirect signs of diseases that could be noticed during an inappropriate examination. Thus, the team of Steven Silverstein from Rutgers University has identified the relationship between the retina of the eyes and the psychological state of a person.

The experiment was carried out with the participation of fifty volunteers, half of whom had an established diagnosis of schizophrenia, and the rest were only suspected. All of them were examined using the RETeval tool from LKC Technologies. It is an optometric device that emits flashes of light and records the electrical response of the cells in the retina. By this indicator, one can judge how sensitive the patient's vision is, how his eyes react to changes in external stimuli.

The bottom line is that schizophrenics showed a significant decrease in the activity of the retina of the eyes, which is so different from the parameters of healthy people that it is quite suitable for the role of a new marker of the disease. Doctors are still only building theories about the reasons for such a reaction of the body. Perhaps the inherent desire of schizophrenics to "hide" in their thoughts generates not only auditory, but also optical hallucinations. Or it does not generate, which makes the patient look more closely at his thoughts, look for something there, due to which the reaction to external factors decreases.

So far, everything remains within the framework of medical theory and experiments. A big plus of the technology is that an examination by an ophthalmologist takes only a few minutes and is easier to carry out than a complex test by a psychiatrist. Accordingly, the chance to notice the marker of the disease increases during unplanned examinations and to transfer the case under the control of specialized specialists in time.