Testing Underway On Simple Stroke-Diagnosing Eye Exam

Published in Winter 2016

Each year, 45,000 to 75,000 people who suffer strokes are initially misdiagnosed when they come to the emergency room complaining of dizziness. Yet about $1 billion is wasted on tests and hospital admissions for people with dizziness who are suspected of having a stroke, but who actually are having an inner ear problem.

Johns Hopkins neurologist David Newman-Toker, M.D., Ph.D., and his research team are working on a solution. They have devised a technique that looks for minute differences in eye movements that differentiate stroke from other conditions that cause dizziness. The technique significantly outperforms CT scans and MRIs in accuracy, efficiency and cost for stroke diagnosis.

To further streamline and automate the process, Dr. Newman-Toker’s team is now testing the capability of a pair of computerized eye goggles that use a video camera connected to a computer to examine these eye movements. Currently, the goggles are only used in clinical trials at Johns Hopkins Bayview; however, with success, the technology will become standard practice in about five years.