Binocular saccadic eye movements in multiple sclerosis.

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Journal of the Neurological Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.24). 06/1997; 148(1):53-65. DOI: 10.1016/S0022-510X(96)05330-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We attempted to increase the sensitivity for detection of abnormal binocular saccadic eye movements, particularly of the internuclear ophthalmoplegia (INO) type associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Saccades of 10 and 20 degrees were binocularly recorded with scleral sensor coils in 10 normal control subjects and 26 patients with definite or probable MS, seven of whom had a clinically manifest INO in one or both directions. In the cases in which this was accompanied by a dissociated nystagmus of the abducting eye, our recordings showed that such secondary saccades were also expressed, in a strongly reduced form, by the adducting eye. The patients with manifest INO showed lower average peak velocities and peak accelerations, especially for adduction of the eye on the affected side, but the distribution of these parameters overlapped with the normal distribution. A much sharper distinction between normals and patients with INOs was found by considering the ratios between peak accelerations and velocities of saccade pairs (abducting eye/adducting eye). These ratios, which eliminate much intra- and inter-individual variability, had a narrow range in normals, and all values for INOs were outside this range. On this basis, the 19 patients without clinically manifest INO were easily separated into subgroups of 14 patients with completely normal interocular ratios and five patients with elevated peak velocity and acceleration ratios, identified as sub-clinical (uni- or bilateral) INOs. Measurements of vertical saccades and of interocular timing differences provided no useful criteria for disturbances of binocular coordination in MS. We conclude that in particular, the acceleration of the adducting eye is strongly reduced in patients with an INO, and that this reduction is best identified by interocular comparison between binocular pairs of saccades.

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