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Nystagmus research funding granted

Researchers will develop VR technology for the treatment of the eye condition

04 Jan 2018 by Andrew McClean

Fight for Sight and Nystagmus Network have announced that funding has been granted for research into the early detection of nystagmus.

Thanks to a partnership between the charities, two doctors will now carry out research into improving the quality of life of those living with the eye condition.

CEO of Fight for Sight, Michele Acton (pictured), said: “Both research projects have the potential to positively impact the lives of those living with nystagmus. Only by funding research will we begin to tackle nystagmus.”

Dr Lee Mcilreavy from Cardiff University will use the funding to determine whether a novel eye tracking approach can correctly identify the patterns of eye movement made by those with infantile nystagmus.

This study could lead to a simple and child-friendly eye tracking test that does not rely on expensive technology, as well as earlier detection of the condition. 

Dr Helen Griffiths, at the University of Sheffield, has been awarded funding to develop image stabilisation technology in virtual reality (VR) that can be used to treat a symptom of nystagmus – oscillopsia.

The charities explained that oscillopsia causes the individual to perceive the world in constant motion due to involuntary eye movements. 

Dr Griffiths will use a VR headset with integrated head tracking that will be configured to track the direction of the patient’s gaze.

President of the Nystagmus Network and chair of the Nystagmus Network research sub-committee, Vivien Jones, said: “This would be a major breakthrough for those who acquire nystagmus in later life, and who suffer from oscillopsia.”

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