A new study looking at eye movements to support diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease has recently been added to Join Dementia Research. The study, ‘Eye Movement Analysis to Improve Screening for Alzheimer’s disease’, forms part of PhD research for Julia Blair at Glasgow Caledonian University. Julia answers some of our questions to find out more.

Julia Blair

Julia Blair, PhD student at Glasgow Caledonian University

What are the main aims of the Eye Movement Analysis to Improve Screening for Alzheimer’s disease study?

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are increasing in prevalence with over 200,000 new cases reported every year. The disease is frequently undiagnosed with cognitive screening tests often only being carried out at the request of a family member. Research has shown that eye movements are affected in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Since no screening test for Alzheimer’s has been developed using these established eye movement differences, this project seeks to use newly available and low cost eye tracking to create a screening test where people with Alzheimer’s would be asked to perform visual tasks whilst their eye movements are monitored.

What does it involve for a participant?

Participants will be asked to complete a short cognitive assessment questionnaire. After this, participants will be presented with a series of stimuli on a computer screen and will be asked to respond verbally, or by making eye movements, or by pressing a response button depending on the stimuli they are looking at. Participants’ eye movements will be monitored throughout the experiment.

How long is the study for?

Participants will be asked to come along for a one-off visit which is expected to last no longer than 1 hour altogether.

What do you hope the outcomes of the study will be?

We hope to improve screening efficiency for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia by developing a screening test using widely available low cost eye tracking technology. A screening test which monitors eye movements may increase rates of early detection and may help to widen access due to improved screening efficiency. Early detection of dementia is important for people with the condition’s long-term quality of life after diagnosis.

Where is the study based?

The study is being run from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Who can take part?

The study is recruiting people with Alzheimer’s disease in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde region.

two-people-discussing (1)You can see if you are eligible for this study or others around the nation by logging into your Join Dementia Research account.
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