Computerized analysis of eye movements as a function of age

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. May-Jun 1996;22(3):261-9. doi: 10.1016/0167-4943(96)00698-x.


Vertical and horizontal saccadic (SEMv, SEMh) and smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM) were recorded in 66 normal subjects of different ages using a computerized system. No difference was found in SEMh recordings for the right versus the left eye or for gaze direction. In contrast, SEMv recordings of upgaze vs. downgaze showed a significant difference in performance index (peak velocity) and delay. SEMh and SEMv performance index and delay were significantly slowed in elderly subjects, although accuracy was not affected. SPEM analysis also revealed a decrease in velocity in elderly people indicating diminished tracking ability as a result of the aging process. These data suggest that senescence may influence some SEM and SPEM parameters. We thus emphasize the usefulness of having reliable normative data corrected for age.