Eye movement disorders are different in Parkin-linked and idiopathic early-onset PD.
ABSTRACT Parkin gene mutations are the most common cause of early-onset parkinsonism. Patients with Parkin mutations may be clinically indistinguishable from patients with idiopathic early-onset Parkinson disease (EOPD) without Parkin mutations. Eye movement disorders have been shown to differentiate parkinsonian syndromes, but have never been systematically studied in Parkin mutation carriers.
Eye movements were recorded in symptomatic (n = 9) and asymptomatic Parkin mutation carriers (n = 13), patients with idiopathic EOPD (n = 14), and age-matched control subjects (n = 27) during established oculomotor tasks.
Both patients with EOPD and symptomatic Parkin mutation carriers showed hypometric prosaccades toward visual stimuli, as well as deficits in suppressing reflexive saccades toward unintended targets (antisaccade task). When directing gaze toward memorized target positions, patients with EOPD exhibited hypometric saccades, whereas symptomatic Parkin mutation carriers showed normal saccades. In contrast to patients with EOPD, the symptomatic Parkin mutation carriers showed impaired tracking of a moving target (reduced smooth pursuit gain). The asymptomatic Parkin mutation carriers did not differ from healthy control subjects in any of the tasks.
Although clinically similarly affected, symptomatic Parkin mutation carriers and patients with idiopathic EOPD differed in several oculomotor tasks. This finding may point to distinct anatomic structures underlying either condition: dysfunctions of cortical areas involved in smooth pursuit (V5, frontal eye field) in Parkin-linked parkinsonism vs greater impairment of basal ganglia circuits in idiopathic Parkinson disease.
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ABSTRACT: The evolution of the fovea centralis, the most central part of the retina and the area of the highest visual accuracy, requires humans to shift their gaze rapidly (saccades) to bring some object of interest within the visual field onto the fovea. In addition, humans are equipped with the ability to rotate the eye ball continuously in a highly predicting manner (smooth pursuit) to hold a moving target steadily upon the retina. The functional deficits in neurodegenerative movement disorders (e.g., Parkinsonian syndromes) involve the basal ganglia that are critical in all aspects of movement control. Moreover, neocortical structures, the cerebellum, and the midbrain may become affected by the pathological process. A broad spectrum of eye movement alterations may result, comprising smooth pursuit disturbance (e.g., interrupting saccades), saccadic dysfunction (e.g., hypometric saccades), and abnormal attempted fixation (e.g., pathological nystagmus and square wave jerks). On clinical grounds, videooculography is a sensitive noninvasive in vivo technique to classify oculomotion function alterations. Eye movements are a valuable window into the integrity of central nervous system structures and their changes in defined neurodegenerative conditions, that is, the oculomotor nuclei in the brainstem together with their directly activating supranuclear centers and the basal ganglia as well as cortical areas of higher cognitive control of attention.Journal of ophthalmology. 01/2014; 2014:658243.
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ABSTRACT: Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have difficulties in the control of self-guided (i.e., internally driven) movements. The basal ganglia provide a nonspecific internal cue for the development of a preparatory activity for a given movement in the sequence of repetitive movements. Controversy surrounds the question of whether PD patients are capable of (1) anticipating (before an external trigger appears; i.e., anticipation) and (2) predicting movement velocity once a moving target shortly disappears from the visual scene (i.e., prediction). To dissociate between these two components, we examined internally driven (extraretinal generated) smooth pursuit eye movements in PD patients and age-matched healthy controls by systematically varying target blanking periods of a trapezoidally moving target in four paradigms (initial blanking, midramp blanking, blanking after a short ramp, and no blanking). Compared to controls, PD patients showed (1) decreased smooth pursuit gain (without blanking), (2) deficient anticipatory pursuit (prolonged pursuit initiation latency; reduced eye velocity before target onset in the early onset blanking paradigm), and (3) preserved extraretinal predictive pursuit velocity (midramp target blanking). Deficient anticipation of future target motion was not related to either disease duration or the general motor impairment (UPDRS). We conclude that PD patients have difficulties in anticipating future target motion, which may play a role for the mechanisms involved in deficient gait initiation and termination of PD. In contrast, they remain unimpaired in their capacity of building up an internal representation of continuous target motion. This may explain the clinical advantage of medical devices that use visual motion to improve gait initiation (e.g., "PD glasses").Movement Disorders 06/2012; 27(8):1012-8. · 5.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Striatal dopaminergic denervation leads to a change in afferent activity within the basal ganglia. Coupled with the effect of local dopaminergic denervation in the subthalamic nucleus, this is likely to affect the responsiveness of subthalamic neurons to their hyperdirect inputs in Parkinson's disease. Therefore, in this report, we investigated subthalamic nucleus responses to visual stimuli relayed by one such input - the superior colliculus - in 6-OHDA lesioned rats. We used a protocol where the superior colliculus was selectively unlocked from the inhibitory effect of anesthesia with an injection of bicuculline, attenuating GABAergic inhibition in the colliculus, which arises predominantly from the substantia nigra pars reticulata. We found that visual responses in the superior colliculus were facilitated by partial or total lesions of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, once the colliculus was disinhibited by bicuculline. Responses were faster, larger in amplitude and lasted longer compared to those in control rats. In the subthalamic nucleus, visual responses were also increased in amplitude and magnitude in partial or total lesioned groups. A classic hypothesis in Parkinson's disease suggests that following dopaminergic denervation, the discharge of cells in the substantia nigra pars reticulata increases, thereby intensifying the inhibitory influence that this structure exerts on its targets in the thalamus and brainstem. Our results suggest that neuroadaptations may have taken place within the superior colliculus in order to maintain normal function in the face of increased inhibitory tone coming from the substantia nigra pars reticulata, which once reduced, gave rise to facilitated responding. This facilitated responding in the superior colliculus then appears to lead to facilitated responding in the subthalamic nucleus.Neuroscience 07/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor