Oculomotor deficits in Parkinson's disease: Increasing sensitivity using multivariate approaches.
Bredemeyer O., Patel S., FitzGerald JJ., Antoniades CA.
Parkinson's disease (PD) affects several domains of neurological function, from lower-level motor programs to higher cognitive processing. As certain types of eye movements (saccades) are fast, non-fatiguing, and can be measured objectively and non-invasively, they are a promising candidate for quantifying motor and cognitive dysfunction in PD, as well as other movement disorders. In this pilot study, we evaluate the latency (reaction time), damping (resistance to oscillation), and amplitude of saccadic movements in two tasks performed by 25 PD patients with mild to moderate disease and 26 age-matched healthy controls. As well as general increases in reaction time caused by PD, the damping of saccadic eye movements was found to be task-dependent and affected by disease. Finally, we introduce a proof-of-concept multivariate model to demonstrate how information from saccadometry can be combined to infer disease status.