It is known that the pupil's response to light is abnormal in advanced Parkinson's disease. This study will explore whether signs of pupil dysfunction may be a biomarker of the presence of early Parkinson's disease (before medications are used to treat the condition.) The study will also examine a new and simplified way of measuring the pupil's response to light, using a smart phone application, to hopefully be used as a screening/tracking measure in clinical settings in the future. To complete this study, we are recruiting both healthy adults age 30-80 years old as well as individuals with early signs of Parkinson's disease that have not yet been treated with medication for this condition. The study required approximately 20-30 minutes to complete on MUSC's campus (compensation not included.)
We will ask 80 patients with Parkinson's disease, representing the full spectrum of motor and cognitive symptoms, to participate. Participation will include measurement of eye movements using two methods: the new computer-based saccade battery and the best available video-based eye-tracking equipment. The evaluation will be repeated about 30 days later. Data will be analyzed to determine whether the computer-based tasks are reliable and able to provide the same quality of information as the gold standard in eye-tracking. A comparison sample of 80 healthy older adults will also complete the behavioral saccade tests in order to establish normative data that will enable application in clinical settings.