Publication date: Apr 26, 2020
Evaluating the state of the oculomotor system of a patient is one of the fundamental tests done in neuro-ophthalmology. However, up to date, very few quantitative standardized tests of eye movements quality exist, limiting this assessment to confrontational tests reliant on subjective interpretation. Furthermore, quantitative tests relying on eye movement properties such as pursuit gain and saccade dynamics are often insufficient to capture the complexity of the underlying disorders and are often (too) long and tiring. In this study, we present SONDA (Standardised Oculomotor and Neurological Disorder Assessment): this test is based on analyzing eye tracking recorded during a short and intuitive continuous tracking task. We tested patients affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and find that: (1) the saccadic dynamics of the main sequence alone are not sufficient to separate patients from healthy controls; (2) the combination of spatio-temporal and statistical properties of saccades and saccadic dynamics enables an identification of oculomotor abnormalities in both MS and PD patients. We conclude that SONDA constitutes a powerful screening tool that allows an in-depth evaluation of (deviant) oculomotor behavior in a few minutes of non-invasive testing.