Ocular motor abnormalities in human immunodeficiency virus infection

Ann Neurol. 1991 Aug;30(2):130-8. doi: 10.1002/ana.410300203.


We studied ocular motor performance in 47 subjects with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and 25 normal control subjects. Saccade accuracy was the most sensitive measure, being significantly poorer for all four HIV-positive groups (asymptomatic, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS] without dementia, and AIDS with dementia, and AIDS-related complex) than for control subjects. While saccade duration and peak velocity were not significantly different across groups, the scatter of saccade duration was increased in all HIV-positive groups. Saccade latency was not significantly affected. In both simple and complex antisaccade tasks, the asymptomatic, AIDS, and AIDS dementia groups made significantly fewer correct-way antisaccades than did control subjects. Latencies of correct-way antisaccades were increased for AIDS and AIDS dementia groups in the simple antisaccade trials, and for all HIV-positive groups in the complex trials. Fixation stability was significantly worse in the AIDS dementia group than in control subjects. Smooth pursuit gain was decreased in the asymptomatic, AIDS, and AIDS dementia groups for the least demanding trial. One or more ocular motor abnormalities were present in 15 (88%) asymptomatic subjects, 11 (69%) with AIDS-related complex, and 14 (100%) AIDS patients without or with dementia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / etiology*
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / physiopathology
  • Pursuit, Smooth / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Saccades / physiology