Saccades and smooth pursuit in myotonic dystrophy

J Neurol. 1999 Jul;246(7):600-6. doi: 10.1007/s004150050411.


Reflexive saccades, remembered saccades, antisaccades, fixation and smooth pursuit were recorded in seven subjects with myotonic dystrophy (MD) and seven age-matched controls using the magnetic scleral search coil technique. Neuropsychological performance was assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sort Test and measures of verbal fluency. Subjects with MD showed significantly elevated error rates in the antisaccade and remembered saccade paradigms, consistent with prefrontal dysfunction, and these two measures of distractibility were significantly correlated with each other. Saccadic latencies, square wave jerk frequency, and smooth pursuit peak velocity gain showed no significant difference between the two groups, although the peak velocity of all classes of saccades was significantly reduced in patients with MD. These results extend the findings of previous studies of oculomotor function in MD, and provide novel evidence for a central contribution to abnormalities of eye movements in this condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / physiopathology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology
  • Pursuit, Smooth
  • Saccades / physiology*