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Ocular Motor Study

The aim of this project is to fully characterise eye movement changes in ME/CFS on two consecutive days, identifying an ocular motor signature that is unique to the disorder.

  • Jade Bartholomew
  • Meaghan Clough, PhD
  • Natalie Thomas, PhD
  • Joanne Fielding, PhD
  • Christopher Armstrong, PhD
  • All ME/CFS and control data have been collected for this study.
  • Data analysis of main features is ongoing.
  • Successfully applied for more funding from Mason Foundation to begin a 2nd phase of the study.
  • The 2nd phase data collection has begun and is ongoing.

Ocular motor (eye movement) assessment can be used in the diagnosis of various neurological diseases. Eye movement requires signaling across a vast, well-defined neural network that incorporates over 50% of the brain. Damage at any point across this extensive network manifests as abnormalities in eye movement. In a given disease/disorder, this manifests in a unique eye movement signature that can be measured using high powered eye-tracking technologies, allowing the quantification of even the subtlest of changes. This is especially relevant for those with ME/CFS as symptoms can often be subtle and prone to fluctuation (i.e. tending to worsen following exertion).

A defined ocular motor signature for ME/CFS would provide the first, objective, quantifiable marker for this disease that can be used to provide diagnostic certainty, provide a sensitive measure of progression or future treatment effect, and to inform the pathophysiological underpinnings of the disease.


  1. Identify fatigue signatures in ME/CFS using simple and repetitive ocular motor tasks over time.
  2. Identify cognitive control changes in ME/CFS using validated cognitive ocular motor tasks.
  3. Characterise eye movement changes due to PEM induced by cognitive exertion.
  4. Develop a diagnostic algorithm and task set that incorporates a variety of ocular motor task signatures in ME/CFS using machine learning techniques.
  5. Combine biofluid collections with 2-day ocular motor tests for metabolite and immune marker analysis.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

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