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    Identifying glaucoma-related visual function loss

    Early findings favorable for novel, portable visual evoked potential technology

    A portable brain-computer interface (nGoggle) is encouraging for objective assessment of visual function loss in patients with glaucoma, said Felipe A. Medeiros, MD, PhD, professor of ophthalmology, Duke University, Durham, NC.

    The platform, developed by Dr. Medeiros and colleagues, assesses visual function loss using multifocal steady-state visual evoked potentials (mfSSVEPs) associated with visual field stimulation.

    The head-mounted unit integrates electroencephalography (EEG) with a cell phone-based display that appears in virtual reality-type goggles. The EEG uses dry electrodes positioned over the occipital region, and the goggles incorporate foam-based electro-oculogram sensors to assess eye movements, recognizing that fixation loss could affect the test results.

    “Our brain-based objective method is completely portable and transmits data wirelessly through the network to an operating tablet or directly to the cloud via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi,” Dr. Medeiros said.

    In initial testing, it demonstrated greater accuracy compared with standard automated perimetry (SAP) for discriminating eyes with glaucomatous optic neuropathy versus healthy eyes. In another study, the device was able to detect damage in eyes with preperimetric glaucoma, he noted.

    “We are currently investigating its potential for longitudinal monitoring of glaucoma damage,” Dr. Medeiros said.

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