Scientists have developed an almost 100 per cent accurate test to detect schizophrenics - by checking their gaze.
Impaired eye movement has long been thought to be associated with schizophrenia.
Now a new study has reported a model of testing which demonstrated 98 per cent accuracy in distinguishing between those with and without schizophrenia.
Using ’simple viewing tests’, researchers at Aberdeen University explored the ability of eye movement tests to sort schizophrenics from healthy people.
People with schizophrenia showed well-documented deficits in the ability to track slow moving objects smoothly with their eyes.
Their eye movements tended to fall behind the moving object and then catch up again using rapid eye movements called ’saccades’.
Schizophrenics also found it more difficult to maintain a steady gaze.
The study was led by Dr Philip Benson and Professor David St Clair and involved a range of eye tests where volunteers were asked to track slow moving objects slowly with their eyes (known as smooth pursuit), inspect a variety of everyday scenes (free viewing) and given instructions to keep a steady gaze on a single unmoving target (fixation tasks).
Their findings could speed up detection of the condition and they are now examining whether the tests can be used for earlier intervention in major mental illness.
Dr Benson said today: ’It has been known for over a hundred years that individuals with psychotic illnesses have a variety of eye movement abnormalities, but until our study, using a novel battery of tests, no one thought the abnormalities were sensitive enough to be used as potential clinical diagnostic biomarkers.
’In smooth pursuit, people with schizophrenia have well-documented deficits in the ability to track slow moving objects smoothly with their eyes. Their eye movements tend to fall behind the moving object and then catch up with the moving object using rapid eye movements called saccades.
’In the free-viewing test, whereas most individuals follow a typical pattern with their gaze as they scan the picture, those with schizophrenia follow an abnormal pattern and in the fixation task individuals with schizophrenia found it more difficult to maintain a steady gaze.’
This graphic shows schizophrenics and those without the condition track objects with their eyes differently.
Several methods were then used to model the data and the accuracy of each of the created algorithms was tested by using eye test data from another group of cases and controls. Combining all the data, one of the models achieved 98 per cent accuracy.
Professor St Clair added: ’We are keen to explore how best our findings can be developed for use in routine clinical practice.
’Typical neuropsychological assessments are time-consuming, expensive, and require highly trained individuals to administer. In comparison, these eye tests are simple, cheap, and take only minutes to conduct.
’This means that a predictive model with such precision could potentially be incorporated in clinics and hospitals to aid physicians by augmenting traditional symptom-based diagnostic criteria.
’The next thing we want to know is when the abnormalities are first detectable and can they be used as disease markers for early intervention studies in major mental illness?’
The study has been published in the November issue of the academic journal Biological Psychiatry.
The journal’s editor Dr. John Krystal commented: ’It is encouraging to see the high sensitivity of this model for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. It will be interesting to see the extent to which this approach enables clinical investigators to distinguish people with schizophrenia from individuals with other psychiatric disorders.’
New Obama Regulations Will Make It Harder to Hire and Promote White Men 2016-02-05 22:23
The Obama administration is obsessed with race and sex. Many know about the administration’s scheme to collect information on the racial composition of American communities in an effort to force neighborhoods to “diversify.” Now the government is applying the same philosophy to businesses in order to “equalize” wages. It’s an effort, critics point out, that will make it harder for ...
Facebook To Censor & Remove Users For Anti-Obama Posts 2016-02-05 21:06
Facebook is submitting to Obama in a truly sickening way this week as they announce a new policy regarding dialogue that involves “hate speech” and “xenophobia” on European profiles in reference to the Muslim refugee crisis.
According to World Daily Online, Facebook executives have created the “Initiative for Civil Courage Online” in Berlin, and it pledges to help non-governmental in counteracting “racist and ...
Cologne Carnival: 2 Rapefugees Arrested 2016-02-05 21:35 Two rapefugees—a Nigerian and an Afghani—have been arrested in two separate sex-attack rape incidents in Germany during the first day of the North West Rhine’s (NRW) famous street carnivals, police have admitted.
According to the Focus news service, “Police have arrested an immigrant from Africa,” after a 24-year-old woman was raped at the street carnival in the NRW city of Gütersloh.
Hungarian Woman Speaks Out Against the Betrayal of European Women and is Called a ‘Racist’ 2016-02-05 5:59
According to the Women’s rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committee of the European Parliament it is only racism that may lead someone who sees any problem in the mass violence committed against women in Europe by migrant men. Every day there are instances of European women being subjected to sexual abuses, insults, violent actions that force the European women to ...
US Border agent: 'We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether' 2016-02-04 23:30
In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States, a key agent testified Thursday.
What's more, the stand down order includes a requirement that the whereabouts of illegals released are not to ...