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Automated Eye Tracking Enables Saccade Performance Evaluation of Patients with Concussion History.

SIGNIFICANCE: Automated eye tracking could be used to evaluate saccade performance of patients with concussion history, providing quantitative insights about the degree of oculomotor impairment and potential vision rehabilitation strategies for this patient population.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the saccade performance of patients with concussion history based on automated eye-tracking test results.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of patients with concussion history, primarily from sports participation, who underwent oculomotor testing based on an eye-tracking technology at the Duke Eye Center vision rehabilitation clinic between June 30, 2017 and January 10, 2022. Patients' saccade test results were reviewed, including saccade fixation and saccade speed/accuracy ratio. The outcomes were compared with age-matched normative population data derived from healthy individuals. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with saccade performance among patients with concussion history. Results: 115 patients with concussion history were included in the study. Patients with concussion on average had fewer fixations on self-paced horizontal and vertical saccade tests and lower horizontal and vertical saccade speed/accuracy ratios compared with normative ranges. Among patients with concussion history, multiple linear regression analyses showed that older age was associated with fewer fixations on horizontal and vertical saccade tests, while male sex was associated with more fixations on horizontal and vertical saccade tests (all P < .01). Additionally, older age was associated with lower horizontal saccade speed/accuracy ratio, after adjusting for sex, number of concussion(s), and time from most recent concussion to oculomotor testing (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with concussion history had lower saccade performance based on eye tracking compared with healthy individuals. We additionally identified risk factors for lower saccade performance among patients with concussion history. These findings support the use of saccade test results as biomarkers for concussion and have implications for post-concussion rehabilitation strategies.

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