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Pupillary Response to Identify Progressive Supranuclear Palsy


This study will investigate pupillary light response as a potential detection method for progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) in adults with PSP or other neurodegenerative diseases.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
55 Years N/A All No
November 1, 2017
October 1, 2019

  • Meet clinical criteria for PSP, including recurrent falls and unsteady gait, rigidity of the neck and trunk, trouble controlling facial muscles, lid retraction in both eyes, trouble voluntarily shifting gaze, atrophy in the midbrain as shown on magnetic resonance imaging; PSP with asymmetric findings, tremors, and poor responses to treatment with the drug levodopa; or Parkinson's disease with progressive slow movement, postural instability and frequent falls, hurried gait with loss of associated movements, muscular rigidity and mask-like face, and resting tremors
  • Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease with progressive impairment of memory and cognitive domains, such as language and visuospatial perception

  • Frail or in questionable health
  • Cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, open-angle glaucoma, or other optic nerve damage or posterior pole condition
  • Painful light sensitivity, for example, from corneal inflammation, uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye), or achromatopsia (partial or total absence of color vision)
  • Advanced dementia with inability to sit erect or hold eyes open, or incontinence
  • Epilepsy
  • Major depression or other severe psychiatric disorders

Researchers hypothesize that certain pupil responses are reduced in people with PSP. This pilot study will use chromatic pupillometry, done using a noninvasive handheld device, to measure pupil size and reaction to light stimulation. Researchers will measure participants' responses to light stimulation over a two-year period to determine if this could be a novel method for early detection of PSP.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston Massachusetts 02114 Recruiting Shirley H Wray, MD, PhD, FRCP

Massachusetts General Hospital

  • NeurOptics Inc.
  • University of Toronto

Name Role Affiliation
Shirley H. Wray, MD, PhD Principal Investigator Massachusetts General Hospital


Functional Assessment of the Melanopsin-Containing Retinal Ganglion Cells in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Using Chromatic Pupillometry