[Visual tracking with/without passive whole-body rotation in Parkinson's disease (PD): Dissociation of smooth-pursuit and cancellation of vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR)].

Rinsho shinkeigaku = Clinical neurology(2016)

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Although impaired smooth-pursuit in Parkinson's disease (PD) is well known, reports are conflicting on the ability to cancel vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) when the target moves with head, requiring gaze-pursuit. To compare visual tracking performance with or without passive whole-body rotation, we examined eye movements of 10 PD patients and 6 age-matched controls during sinusoidal horizontal smooth-pursuit and passive whole-body rotation (0.3 Hz, ± 10°). Three tasks were tested: smooth-pursuit, VOR cancellation, and VORx1 while subjects fixated an earth-stationary spot during whole-body rotation. Mean ± SD eye velocity gains (eye velocities/stimulus velocities) of PD patients during the 3 tasks were 0.32 ± 0.24 0.25 ± 0.22, 0.85 ± 0.20, whereas those of controls were 0.91 ± 0.06, 0.14 ± 0.07, 0.94 ± 0.05, respectively. Difference was significant between the two subject groups only during smooth-pursuit. Plotting eye-velocity gains of individual subjects during VOR cancellation against those during smooth-pursuit revealed significant negative linear correlation between the two parameters in the controls, but no correlation was found in PD patients. Based on the regression equation of the controls, we estimated expected eye velocity gains of individual subjects during VOR cancellation from their smooth-pursuit gains. Estimated gains of PD patients during VOR cancellation were significantly different from their actual gains, suggesting that different neural mechanisms operate during VOR cancellation in the controls and PD.
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