The EyeBrain tracker is already used for the early diagnosis of Parkinsonian syndromes, such as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Cortico Basal Degeneration (CBD) and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). EyeBrain, a business with a staff of 15 (est. 2008), which is located in Ivry-sur-Seine near Paris, engineered the device. The EyeBrain Tracker is now being used in a clinical study on movement disorders induced by treatment with levodopa in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease.
In June 2010, Professor Tison, a neurologist attached to the CNRS Pathophysiology of Parkinsonian Syndromes team (Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases) launched the study that is funded by the Bordeaux University Hospital Center. The study focuses on finding the late complication biomarkers of levodopa treatment. The molecule, which naturally turns into dopamine in the brain, is one of the only drugs available to slow the effects of Parkinson's disease. However over time, it causes abnormal movements mainly in a patient's face before spreading to the limbs.
Thirty people will be tested; half have Parkinson's disease, are treated with levodopa, and have movement disorders; the other half who do not suffer the symptoms will serve as the control group. The purpose is to study whether levodopa alters the parameters of eye saccades in correlation with the improvement of motor skills. Thanks to the EyeBrain Tracker, researchers will be able to measure the motor effect by eye movements as saccade parameters are related to patient's overall motor skills.
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's. Its prevalence in Western countries is at about 0.3% in the general population; prevalence increases with age reaching 1% in people over 60 and up to 4% in people over 80. There are roughly 100,000 people afflicted with the disease in France. Every year, another 8,000 new cases are reported.