Objective measures to diagnose and to monitor improvement of symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are lacking. Computerized eye tracking has been advocated as a rapid, user friendly and field ready technique to meet this need. Eye tracking data collected via a head mounted, video-based binocular eye tracker was used to examine saccades, fixations and smooth pursuit movement in 60 military Service Members with post concussive syndrome (PCS) and 26 asymptomatic control subjects in an effort to determine if eye movement differences could be found and quantified. The diagnosis of mTBI was confirmed by the study physiatrist’s history, physical examination, and a review of any medical records. Results demonstrated that subjects with symptomatic mTBI had statistically larger position errors, smaller saccadic amplitudes, smaller predicted peak velocities, smaller peak accelerations, and longer durations. Subjects with symptomatic mTBI were also less likely to follow a target movement (less primary saccades). In general, symptomatic mTBI tracked the stepwise moving targets less accurately, revealing possible brain dysfunction. A reliable, standardized protocol that appears to differentiate mTBI from normals was developed for use in future research. This investigation represents a step toward objective identification of those with PCS. Future studies focused on increasing the specificity of eye movement differences in those with PCS are needed.

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Post-print Article

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Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000036

Full Citation:

Wares, Joanna R., David X. Cifu, Kathy W. Hoke, George Gitchel, Paul A. Wetzel, and William Carne. "Differential Eye Movements in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury vs. Normal Controls." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 30, no. 1 (2014): 21-28. doi:10.1097/HTR.0000000000000036.