Eyes Show Presence of Mental Illness

Article excerpt

SCIENTISTS have developed a ground-breaking camera test that can diagnose a range of serious mental health problems simply by analysing the movements of a patients' eye.

The revolutionary technology works using a theory, more than a century old, that abnormal ways of looking at objects are associated with psychosis.

The team behind it believes that it can help to differentiate schizophrenia from bipolar disorder and also from severe depression.

Researchers used special cameras to track the eye movements of patients as they looked at pictures on a computer screen.

Patients who suffer from schizophrenia can be seen to explore images less fully than those who do not suffer from the condition.

They rest their gaze for longer on certain points but look at fewer points on the picture overall, according to the researchers.

For patients with bipolar disorder or those who have severe depression, there are more subtle differences.

These three conditions exhibit very similar symptoms, which make diagnosis using traditional methods more difficult.

'Recent advancements in eye-tracking technology have enabled the use of eye movement abnormalities as reliable markers to assist diagnosis of these disorders,' says Madhu Nair, the technology entrepreneur hoping to bring the technology to the market. …