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Mental health 'eye test' breakthrough wins top entrepreneurial award.

A new eye-movement test developed by researchers from the University of Aberdeen recognizes unusual eye movements to help clinicians identify major adult psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression.

The researchers claim that the simple eye-movement tests can recognize schizophrenia and other major psychiatric disorders with better than 95 percent accuracy, and within 30 minutes.

In September, the plan to commercialize the test for use in mental healthcare worldwide won a prestigious national contest, the Converge Challenge Awards, recognizing Scotland's entrepreneurial innovations. The 2013 Awards bestowed a prize worth close to $100,000.

"It has been known for over a hundred years that individuals with psychotic symptoms are unable to smoothly track slowly moving objects with their eyes. Their gaze tends to lag behind the object and then catch up with it by making rapid skips called saccades," said Dr. Philip Benson, of the University of Aberdeen's School of Psychology and one of the academics behind the test.

The researchers hope the assessment will make the process of reaching an accurate diagnosis more efficient, and they plan to form a company, Saccade Diagnostics, to produce and sell the test.

Source: <http://www. nzdoctor.co.nz/un-doctored/ 2013/september-2013/26/ mental-health-%E2%80% 98eye-test%E2%80%99breakthrough-wins-top-entrepreneurial-award.aspx>.

For more information, visit <http://www.hw.ac.uk/ business/collaborate-with-us/ converge-challenge.htm>.

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Title Annotation:Research Findings
Publication:The Advocate (American Mental Health Counselors Association)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 9, 2014
Words:223
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