The ocular motor defects in progressive supranuclear palsy

Ann Neurol. 1977 Nov;2(5):397-403. doi: 10.1002/ana.410020509.


The results of quantitative infrared horizontal eye movement recordings in 8 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy are presented. Some of the patients had total paralysis of vertical movements, but none had completely lost the ability to perform horizontal eye movements. All patients had a defect in ocular fixation previously undescribed in this condition: the universal presence of square-wave jerks. Analysis of refixation saccades demonstrated hypometria, slow velocity/amplitude relationships, and profound prolongation of duration. The pursuit abnormality, characterized clinically by "cogwheel" eye movements, represented the inability to match eye velocity to target velocity. The ratio of peak eye velocity to peak target velocity (pursuit gain) was 0.2 to 0.5. Defects in the vestibuloocular reflex included inability to increase the gain of the reflex (ratio of peak eye velocity to head velocity) during viewing of a visible, stationary target and failure to suppress the reflex when viewing a target rotating with the head.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Eye Movements
  • Facial Nerve / physiopathology
  • Facial Paralysis / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoplegia / physiopathology*
  • Saccades