Can eye movement indicate a concussion?

August 23rd, 2015 in Brain Injuries


In most cases when someone is injured, the sooner their condition is diagnosed, the better, as it allows for proper treatment to quickly be provided. This is certainly true where concussions are concerned and the results of a recent study on the matter could make that diagnosis easier. The study was conducted by researchers at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center at NYU Langone Medical Center.


The study focused on tracking the eye movement of those who suffered a concussion. The goal of the study was to determine whether tracking eye movement can be used to determine whether a brain injury has occurred and, if so, what type. It is believed that the movement of the eye could be affected by a disruption of pathways in the brain in relation to eye movements as well as elevated pressure within the injured person’s skull.

In total, the eye movement of 68 individuals was used to create a mathematical model called a classifier. The classifier converted the eye movement measurements of each participant into a prediction of their concussive status. Half of the participants had suffered a brain injury while the other half, who had not, served as control subjects.

Using the models developed, the dataset of 255 subjects was tested. Of those subjects, eight actually had suffered concussions. The results of that test found that there was an optimal sensitivity of 88 percent. There was a specificity of 87 percent. While these results were good, whether this approach of diagnosing concussions will be used in Canada or elsewhere, remains to be seen.

There is no question that brain injuries can be serious. Because of this, when they occur as the result of the negligent actions of another person, it is important that those who are hurt recognize that they might be able to pursue compensation via legal action.