Perception of spatial orientation in spasmodic torticollis. Part 2: The visual vertical.
ABSTRACT Twenty-nine patients with idiopathic spasmodic torticollis (ST) and matched normal control subjects were asked to align a target line to perceived earth vertical [visual vertical (VV)]. Settings were made against a whole-field random-dot background that was either stationary or rotating around the line of sight, and subjects performed the task upright and lying horizontally on their sides. Normal subjects were tested both head upright and after assuming a voluntary head tilt. Patients with ST set the VV close to true upright with a minimal deviation toward tilt of the head in contrast to normal subjects assuming a head tilt who set the VV in the opposite direction to the head tilt (Müller "E" effect). Settings against the spinning disk were biased in the direction of rotation similarly for both subject groups. Settings made against static or spinning disk performed when subjects lay horizontally were tilted in the direction of recumbence (Aubert "A" effect) similarly for both subject groups. When attempting to set the target line parallel to the long axis of the face, patients with head tilt set the line to upright, whereas normal subjects correctly estimated their tilts. One hypothesis offered to explain these results is that the patients referenced only their upright trunk for vertical and did not make use of neck proprioceptive or vestibular signals of head tilt so that all settings were made as if the trunk and head were upright. Alternatively, patients may have used only otolith signals as the reference for upright, and these are recalibrated in ST patients with head tilt. The pathological deviation becomes accepted as upright posture, and VVs and facial orientation are estimated as if the head were upright. In either case the findings indicate abnormal processing of the perception of visual verticality in ST patients.
- SourceAvailable from: bmj.com[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Vestibular findings in a group of 35 patients with spasmodic torticollis without other otological or neurological symptoms were reviewed. The most consistent abnormality, present in more than 70% of cases, was a directional preponderance of vestibular nystagmus in the dark in a direction opposite to the head (chin) deviation. Rigidly clamping the head to a rotating chair did not abolish the directional preponderance. In the presence of optic fixation the directional preponderance was less frequent and its severity tended to diminish as a function of the duration of the disease. Smooth pursuit and optokinetic nystagmus were only occasionally affected. The results are indicative of primary involvement of the vestibular system in spasmodic torticollis and are discussed in terms of a break-down of the central mechanisms conveying sensory information responsible for head and eye orientation.Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 04/1986; 49(3):290-5. · 4.92 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Deviations of the position of the eye in the roll plane, ocular torsion (OT), and the subjective visual vertical (SVV) were systematically studied in 111 patients with acute vascular brainstem lesions. Of the 111 patients, 104 (94%) showed a direction-specific pathological tilt of the static SVV in our series. Seventy-one (83%) of 86 patients exhibited pathological static OT of one (47%) or both (36%) eyes. OT and SVV tilts are therefore sensitive signs in acute unilateral brainstem disorders. Measurements of SVV and OT may prove to be useful components of the neuro-ophthalmological evaluation. With respect to the directions of pathological tilt, SVV and OT are generally in the same direction. Based on neuroimaging, we conclude that all unilateral brainstem lesions caudal to the upper pons cause ipsiversive OT of one or both eyes, with concurrent ipsiversive tilts of SVV adjustments; all lesions rostral to this pontine level cause contraversive tilts of OT and SVV. Evidence is presented that pathological tilts of OT and SVV are secondary to a dysfunction of the tonic bilateral vestibular inputs that stabilize the eyes and head in normal upright position in the roll plane and dominate our perception of verticality.Annals of Neurology 04/1993; 33(3):292-9. · 11.19 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The static ocular torsional position of both eyes of 23 patients was measured by means of fundus photographs one day before and one week after unilateral vestibular neurectomy for the treatment of acoustic neuroma, Ménière's disease or paroxysmal vertigo. The results showed that in all patients the vestibular neurectomy caused both eyes to tort (i.e. to roll around the visual axis) toward the side of the neurectomy when measured one week after operation. The extent of this torsion was an average of 9.5 degrees one week after operation and there was no statistically significant difference in the average magnitude of the torsion in the two eyes. In 8 of these patients, additional measurements were made at intervals up to one year after operation and it was found that in these patients there is a significant reduction in torsion over time from an average of 10.2 degrees one week after operation to an average of 2.8 degrees by 16 weeks after operation. The change in torsional eye position following the neurectomy was accompanied by a change in the perceived visual orientation of a small (9.5 degrees visual angle) illuminated horizontal line at a straight ahead eye level position in an otherwise completely darkened room. One week after operation when asked to adjust the line to the perceived gravitational horizontal by rotating it in roll (i.e. around an X axis), patients who had had a right vestibular neurectomy consistently set the line so that the right side of the line (from the patient's point of view) was below the true gravitational horizontal. Similarly patients after a left neurectomy consistently set the line so that the left side of the line was below the true gravitational horizontal. There is a high correlation (r = 0.95) between the direction and magnitude of the change in torsional eye position and the direction and magnitude of the change in the perceived visual horizontal one week after operation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)Experimental Brain Research 02/1991; 85(1):218-25. · 2.22 Impact Factor