Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can cause impaired eye movements, and there is an eye test which can help researchers determine whether an individual has schizophrenia with an accuracy rate of at least 98%. According to lead study authors Dr. David St. Clair and Dr. Philip Benson “It has been known for over a hundred years that individuals with psychotic illnesses have a variety of eye movement abnormalities, but until our study, using a novel battery of tests, no one thought the abnormalities were sensitive enough to be used as potential clinical diagnostic biomarkers. We now have exciting unpublished data showing that patterns of eye movement abnormalities are specific to different psychiatric subgroups, another key requirement for diagnostic biomarkers. The next thing we want to know is when the abnormalities are first detectable and can they be used as disease markers for early intervention studies in major mental illness. We are also keen to explore how best our findings can be developed for use in routine clinical practice.”
When the eye test for schizophrenia was first confirmed by researchers in 2012 it was a breakthrough. The typical neuropsychological assessments used to diagnose this mental disorder can be expensive and very time consuming. It requires highly trained professionals to administer the neuropsychological assessments, another drawback to using these assessments to diagnose schizophrenia. The eye tests developed have a very high accuracy rate, and they only require a few minutes and are extremely inexpensive to administer. In addition the accuracy rate means that a false diagnosis is incredibly rare.