Saccadic Eye Movement Are Related to Turnig Performance in Parkinson Disease

  • Lohnes C
  • Earhart G
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Background—Persons with Parkinson disease (PD) experience difficulty turning, leading to freezing of gait and falls. We hypothesized that saccade dysfunction may relate to turning impairments, as turns are normally initiated with a saccade. Objective—Determine whether saccades are impaired during turns in PD and if characteristics of the turn-initiating saccade are predictive of ensuing turn performance. Methods—23 persons with PD off medication and 19 controls performed 90 and 180 degree in- place turns to the right and left. Body segment rotations were measured using 3-D motion capture and oculomotor data were captured using a head-mounted eye tracking system and electrooculography. Total number of saccades and the amplitude, velocity, and timing of the first saccade were determined. Results—Turn performance (turn duration, number of steps to turn) was impaired in PD (p

Author-supplied keywords

  • gait
  • oculomotor dysfunction
  • parkinson disease
  • saccades
  • turning

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  • Corey a. Lohnes

  • Gammon M. Earhart

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