Visual dysfunction in Parkinson's disease

Brain. 2016 Nov 1;139(11):2827-2843. doi: 10.1093/brain/aww175.


Patients with Parkinson's disease have a number of specific visual disturbances. These include changes in colour vision and contrast sensitivity and difficulties with complex visual tasks such as mental rotation and emotion recognition. We review changes in visual function at each stage of visual processing from retinal deficits, including contrast sensitivity and colour vision deficits to higher cortical processing impairments such as object and motion processing and neglect. We consider changes in visual function in patients with common Parkinson's disease-associated genetic mutations including GBA and LRRK2 . We discuss the association between visual deficits and clinical features of Parkinson's disease such as rapid eye movement sleep behavioural disorder and the postural instability and gait disorder phenotype. We review the link between abnormal visual function and visual hallucinations, considering current models for mechanisms of visual hallucinations. Finally, we discuss the role of visuo-perceptual testing as a biomarker of disease and predictor of dementia in Parkinson's disease.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; cognition; perception; vision.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Leucine-Rich Repeat Serine-Threonine Protein Kinase-2 / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / genetics
  • Visual Pathways / pathology
  • Visual Perception / genetics
  • beta-Glucosidase / genetics


  • Leucine-Rich Repeat Serine-Threonine Protein Kinase-2
  • beta-Glucosidase