Work from SUNY State College of Optometry researchers comparing attention from both visually-normal and mild traumatic brain injury populations using the Diopsys® NOVA™ system was awarded Best Article at the annual College of Optometrists in Vision Development meeting.
Researchers from SUNY State College of Optometry won the Award for Best Article at the 2016 Annual COVD Meeting for their work on visual evoked potential and human attention. The article, VEP and Human Attention: Translation from Laboratory to Clinic, summarizes recent studies that used the Diopsys® NOVA™ ERG and VEP Vision Testing System (Diopsys, Inc., Pine Brook, NJ) to record visual evoked potentials (VEP) in both visually-normal (VN) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) populations to assess attention.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) defines TBI as a blow to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Most traumatic brain injuries are considered mild, but even mTBI can produce “widespread damage to the underlying brain tissues.” Because there are “30-40 distinct cortical areas of the brain that receive or process visual information,” many mTBI patients suffer visual deficits. This includes visual attentional deficits.
The authors reviewed three recent studies which used VEP amplitude and latency measurements, as well as the attention-related alpha band responses, to provide objective, early information regarding the human attentional state in mTBI. “There is a long history of using objective techniques to assess human visual attention. We wanted to understand if VEP results could be used in a practice setting for that purpose,” said one of the lead researchers, Kenneth J. Ciuffreda, OD, PhD.
Based on these studies, the researchers concluded that the objective VEP results from the Diopsys® NOVA™ system “can be used clinically to rapidly and quantitatively detect and assess attention in the mTBI population.” They see the potential for this technique to become an important objective tool for eye care professionals to make attentional assessments of patients.