The Koetser Award 2015 went to Prof. Christopher Kennard of the University of Oxford for his work on saccadic eye movements. Following a eulogy by Prof. Klara Landau, Prof. Kennard received the Award from the Koetser family within the framework of the ZNZ Annual Symposium. He presented his research findings in the Koetser Memorial Lecture.
Prof. Kennard talked about different aspects of testing saccadic eye movements in clinical research. He showed that these tests can be used as a clinical biomarker for the distinction of neurological diseases, for instance for diseases that have traits overlapping with those of Parkinson’s disease. Another application of these tests is in predicting the development of Huntington’s disease. In the last part of his talk Prof. Kennard introduced the possibility of using saccadic eye movement exercises as a treatment for patients with visual field defects (homonymous hemianopia). Visual training helped these patients to develop specific compensatory eye movement strategies, resulting in subjectively improved performance in activities of daily living.
Prof. Christopher Kennard, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford. More