The neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may render patients unable to speak or write, so that objective assessment of cognitive impairment, which is commonly of a dysexecutive nature, is challenging. There is therefore a need to develop other methods of assessment that utilize other relatively unaffected motor systems. In this proof-of-principle study a novel eye-tracking version of the trail-making test was compared with performance on the standard written version in a group of healthy volunteers. There was good correlation for speed between both versions of Part B (R(2)=0.73), suggesting that this is a viable method to objectively assess cognitive impairment in disorders where patients are unable to speak or write.
Hicks, S. L., Sharma, R., Khan, A. N., Berna, C. M., Waldecker, A., Talbot, K., … Turner, M. R. (2013). An eye-tracking version of the trail-making test. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084061