Detection of Oculomotor Dysmetria from Mobile Phone Video of the Horizontal Saccades Task Using Signal Processing and Machine Learning Approaches
Eye movement assessments have the potential to help in diagnosis and tracking of neurological disorders. Cerebellar ataxias cause profound and characteristic abnormalities in smooth pursuit, saccades, and fixation. Oculomotor dysmetria (i.e., hypermetric and hypometric saccades) is a common finding in individuals with cerebellar ataxia. In this study, we evaluated a scalable approach for detecting and quantifying oculomotor dysmetria. Eye movement data were extracted from iPhone video
... of the horizontal saccade task (a standard clinical task in ataxia) and combined with signal processing and machine learning approaches to quantify saccade abnormalities. Entropy-based measures of eye movements during saccades were significantly different in 72 individuals with ataxia with dysmetria compared with 80 ataxia and Parkinson's participants without dysmetria. A template matching-based analysis demonstrated that saccadic eye movements in patients without dysmetria were more similar to the ideal template of saccades. A support vector machine was then used to train and test the ability of multiple signal processing features in combination to distinguish individuals with and without oculomotor dysmetria. The model achieved 78% accuracy (sensitivity= 80% and specificity= 76%). These results show that the combination of signal processing and machine learning approaches applied to iPhone video of saccades, allow for extraction of information pertaining to oculomotor dysmetria in ataxia. Overall, this inexpensive and scalable approach for capturing important oculomotor information may be a useful component of a screening tool for ataxia and could allow frequent at-home assessments of oculomotor function in natural history studies and clinical trials. INDEX TERMS Mobile phone video, horizontal saccades, eye movement analysis, entropy, functional connectivity, template matching, test-retest reliability.