Eye movements in Alzheimer's disease

J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;44(1):1-12. doi: 10.3233/JAD-141173.


A growing body of literature has investigated changes in eye movements as a result of Alzheimer's disease (AD). When compared to healthy, age-matched controls, patients display a number of remarkable alterations to oculomotor function and viewing behavior. In this article, we review AD-related changes to fundamental eye movements, such as saccades and smooth pursuit motion, in addition to changes to eye movement patterns during more complex tasks like visual search and scene exploration. We discuss the cognitive mechanisms that underlie these changes and consider the clinical significance of eye movement behavior, with a focus on eye movements in mild cognitive impairment. We conclude with directions for future research.

Keywords: Attention; mild cognitive impairment; saccade; smooth pursuit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance