Persistent ocular tremors appear to be associated with Parkinson's disease

April 9, 2012

Persistent ocular tremors that prevent eye stability during fixation appear to be common among patients with Parkinson disease (PD) suggesting that precise oculomotor testing could provide an early physiological biomarker for diagnosing PD, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Neurology.

"Although a number of studies describe various oculomotor abnormalities in subjects with PD, conflicts about the specific deficits remain," writes George T. Gitchel, M.S., of the Southeast Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Center, Richmond, Va., and colleagues.

The authors compared oculomotor function between 112 with Parkinson disease and 60 age-matched controls during fixation and while tracking a randomly displaced target on a PC monitor.

"The major finding of the present study was that using modern eye movement tracking, oscillatory fixation instability was universally seen in a large cohort of 112 patients with PD," the authors write. "The fact that this behavior was universally observed in every tested patient with PD, including unmedicated patients, suggests that ocular tremor is a function of the disease process and not induced by medication."

The authors found that all 112 patients with PD showed persistent ocular instability while fixating on a target, compared with only two of the 60 control patients. Additionally, the authors found no differences in oculomotor parameters between medicated and unmedicated patients with PD.

"All patients with PD exhibited persistent ocular tremor that prevented stability during fixation," the authors conclude. "The pervasiveness and specificity of this feature suggest that modern, precise oculomotor testing could provide a valuable early physiological for diagnosing PD."

Explore further: Innovative new strategy to treat Parkinson's disease

More information: Arch Neurol. Published online April 9, 2012. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2012.70

Related Stories

Innovative new strategy to treat Parkinson's disease

December 19, 2011
Stabilizing the cell's power-generating center protects against Parkinson's disease (PD) in a rat model, according to a report published online this week in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Deep brain stimulation effects may last for 10 years in patients with Parkinson's disease

August 8, 2011
One decade after receiving implants that stimulate areas of their brains, patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) appear to sustain improvement in motor function, although part of the initial benefit wore off mainly because ...

Demographic, clinical factors appear associated with survival in patients with Parkinson's disease

January 2, 2012
Demographics and clinical factors appear to be associated with survival in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), and the presence of dementia is associated with a significant increase in mortality, according to a report in ...

In Taiwan, diabetes linked to increased Parkinson's risk

April 2, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Individuals with diabetes in Taiwan have a significantly increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD), which is robust across most age and gender stratifications, according to a study published online March 19 ...

Statin use appears associated with modest reduction in Parkinson's disease risk

March 12, 2012
Regular use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be associated with a modest reduction in risk for developing Parkinson disease, particularly among younger patients, according to a study in the March issue of Archives ...

Recommended for you

Investigating the most common genetic contributor to Parkinson's disease

October 19, 2017
LRRK2 gene mutations are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), but the normal physiological role of this gene in the brain remains unclear. In a paper published in Neuron, Brigham and Women's Hospital ...

Scientists solve 3-D structure of key defense protein against Parkinson's disease

October 5, 2017
Scientists at the University of Dundee have identified the structure of a key enzyme that protects the brain against Parkinson's disease.

Novel protein interactions explain memory deficits in Parkinson's disease

September 26, 2017
A study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience describes the identification of a novel molecular pathway that can constitute a therapeutic target for cognitive defects in Parkinson's disease. The study showed that abnormal ...

Psychosis in Parkinson's dementia—new treatment provides hope

September 25, 2017
New research involving King's College London and the University of Exeter has highlighted the benefits of a promising new treatment which could relieve psychosis in thousands of people with dementia related to Parkinson's ...

Bicycling 'overloads' movement networks with Parkinson's

September 23, 2017
(HealthDay)—Bicycling suppresses abnormal beta synchrony in the Parkinsonian basal ganglia, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in the Annals of Neurology.

Researchers find new path to promising Parkinson's treatment

September 19, 2017
Three researchers at The University of Alabama are part of work that is leading to a new direction for drug discovery in the quest to treat Parkinson's disease.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.