Clinical Applications of Pupil Exam in Neuroscience

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Pupil Exam
Pupil Exam

Neuroscience is an important branch of medicine that involves studying brain functions. The brain is one of the most essential organs in the body. They control almost every part of the body. To help get desirable patient outcomes, doctors study this important organ to know how to plan effective treatments. Doctors rely on the pupil exam to get important clues about the brain.

Understanding the pupil exam

The pupil exam involves how doctors rely on the pupils of the eyes to understand the condition of the brain. This special type of neuro exam is applied in neuroscience for clinical reasons. In this exam, doctors rely on the eyes (the pupils) as the windows to the brain. They exam both pupils to know what is going on in the brain.

Why use the pupils for clinical assessments

Doctors rely on the pupils for clinical assessments because of their behaviours in different conditions. These dark spots in the eye centre allow light to get to the eyes. And they can easily change when exposed to different light intensities. If the light is very bright, this makes the people size smaller. In the absence of no light (darkness), the pupils get bigger. In addition, the pupils also change their size in response to health conditions, thoughts, emotions, and so on. This essential function of the pupil is used in pupillary size measurement.

How are pupil exams done?

During a pupil exam, the doctor uses a tool known as a pupillometer to assess the pupils of the patient. This device comes with a light source that works to stimulate the pupil. As the pupils react, the device records this response. It is recorded as a set of values that are then examined post-measurement to reveal the condition of the brain.

What are some clinical applications of the pupil exam?

The pupil exam is a new way of performing various clinical functions with the use of special neurological tools. These are special devices that are driven by the latest technologies to give a more accurate diagnosis of brain function. With the help of advanced technologies, pupil exam is applied in the following ways in clinical environments:

To find injuries in the brain

One of the most essential applications of pupil exams is in checking for injuries in the brain. If somebody has been in an accident or a severe fall, they are wheeled into the ICU to check for brain injuries. They are then subjected to a pupil exam. Doctors get a positive sign of a brain injury if the pupils have unequal sizes or if they react poorly to the light source.

Diagnosing neurological conditions

Pupil exams can be used to check for neurological conditions – which are diseases that can affect the nerves and the brain. In this case, the pupils behave in a certain way that indicates the presence of these conditions. There are many neurological conditions and each one comes with a certain pupil response. In this case, accurate measurements are obtained with the combined use of the pupillometer and the Neurological Pupil Index (NPI).

Effective post-surgical recovery

Patients who have undergone surgery have to be monitored for effective recovery. Doctors rely on the pupil exam to effectively monitor such patients. If after this surgery there is an abnormal pupil response, this could mean the presence of certain complications like swelling or bleeding. Timely detection of any complications enables the doctor to intervene accordingly to stop it.

Monitor the function of the brain

The pupil exam is an important parameter that doctors rely on for effective monitoring of brain function. Brain monitoring is essential for patients undergoing surgeries or who are in a coma. Doctors need to check their pupils regularly. This gives updated information on the proper functioning of the brain. If there is a problem, the doctor is alerted by the device and he works to intervene accordingly to maintain normalcy.

Understanding mental health

Pupil exams are also used in clinical research to help doctors understand a patient’s mental health. If somebody is suffering from stress or anxiety, this condition tends to affect the size of the pupils. Researchers study the pupil changes so that they can properly understand depression, anxiety, or nervousness in patients.

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