El diagnóstico de alteraciones del sistema visual en una etapa temprana es uno de los principales objetivos perseguidos por los investigadores en visión.
Nuestro grupo ha realizado estudios piloto con pacientes afectados de diabetes, alzheimer, temblor esencial y lupus. Aunque el número escaso de pacientes no permite extraer conclusiones, los indicios muestran que en algunos casos esta técnica de elección de las características del estímulo refleja resultados anómalos que no se obtenían en otras pruebas optométricas.
Nuestro objetivo es el diseño de una técnica que permita realizar estos estudios, a la que hemos llamado CUMA: CUstomized Multichannel Analyzer
New integrated analysis of the chromatic visual function and eye movements for the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases
Age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s (PD) or Alzheimer’s diseases (AD), are conditions in which there is a degenerative process affecting the central nervous system (CNS). These diseases affect and limit a great variety of body activities, including movement, equilibrium, speech, breathing and even the visual function. The predicted increase in the life expectancy in next years will lead to a very significant increase in the prevalence of these diseases, as they are age-related conditions.
AD is the most common form of neurodegenerative disease, and is expected to affect 1 in 85 people in the world by 2050. There are several options of treatment for these disorders, including lifestyle changes, physiotherapy, neuro-rehabilitation, medication or surgery. Depending on the type or severity of the disease, one or several of these treatment options might be necessary.
Diagnostic tests for neurological disorders include blood tests, cerebrospinal fluid examination, genetic testing, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or nerve conduction study (NCS). All of these tests are relatively invasive and expensive to be done as screening tests in individuals at risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases (especially elder people).
For this reason, new screening tests for the early detection of neurological diseases are being nowadays investigated. In the last years, a great variety of studies have shown different levels of ocular and visual alterations in neurodegenerative diseases, especially in terms of color vision and ocular movements. These alterations may useful for an incipient detection of the disease and even for the prediction of its course over time. However, no specific tests or clinical protocols have been developed for such purpose.
The objective of the current research project is to use the evaluation of the color vision and ocular movements as a screening tool for the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases, allowing neurologists to perform an early management of them in order to minimize their potential impact on patient’s quality of life and even to prevent their evolution over time.
For such purpose, multichannel perimetry and videoculography are going to be combined to define alteration patterns for different types of neurodegenerative diseases and afterwards validated. Multichannel perimetry is a relatively new tool that allows the clinician to analyze the visual function for the magno-, parvo-, and konio-cellular pathways that are the responsible for different types of achromatic and chromatic perceptions. This type of perimetric exam uses as stimuli sinusoidal gratings of variable spatial and temporal frequency, variable chromaticity, variable size, round shape and smooth edges. Some perimetric alterations have been reported to date with these stimuli along the visual field of patients with AD, PD or essential tremor. Video-oculography allows the clinician to analyze and characterize quantitatively the eye movements, such as tracking and saccadic movements, as well as to analyze the binocular balance.