Detecting Amblyopia in the Brain
In USA amblyopia remains the leading cause of permanent vision loss in children despite the use of vision screening and instrument-based techniques, such as, photo screening that detects risk factors and auto-refractors that measure refractive errors. All these screening methods have significant false positives (causing over referral) and false negatives (missing amblyopia). None of these methods diagnose amblyopia, but only detect signs or symptoms of amblyopia. Using these techniques, the pediatrician makes referrals to the eye care specialist without knowing which children actually have amblyopia. By identifying the amblyopes, the pediatrician is better able to initiate follow-up to ensure the amblyopia is treated, a medical legal responsibility. The amblyometer is the only vision screening technique to measure amblyopia directly. The Amblyometer of the DiagnosticGame app measuring amblyopia in the brain, the root of amblyopia. The Amblyometer compares the left and right hemispheres in processing the relative brightness sense as described by the Hofeldt Bridge. In 2017 Drs. Gise and Kane reported at the ARVO meeting that an iPad test measuring the relative brightness sense found that in 18 of 18 amblyopes the brightness sense was unbalance, while in 18 of 18 normal subjects the brightness sense was balanced. In 2018 Dr Kane reported at AAP meeting that in 286 students there were 284 true negatives and 2 true positives, 0 false negatives and 0 false positives. The lack of a false positives in these studies suggest that the brightness sense is precisely balanced in the normal state, probably the most precisely balance of all bilateral sensory functions. The sensitivity and specificity of the amblyometer lessens unnecessary referral which is common among other vision screening techniques.