Remembered saccades with variable delay in Parkinson's disease

Mov Disord. 1999 Jan;14(1):80-6. doi: 10.1002/1531-8257(199901)14:1<80::aid-mds1014>;2-m.


The effect of increasing delay on the metrics of remembered saccades was studied in 10 subjects with mild Parkinson's disease, none of whom was receiving treatment with L-dopa, and nine age-matched control subjects. Delays of 1 msec, 250 msec, 1000 msec, 2500 msec, and 5000 msec were used, and reflexive saccades used as a control condition. Results were analyzed for the gain of the primary saccade and the accuracy of the final eye position (FEP gain). Reflexive saccades were normal in subjects with Parkinson's disease, but remembered saccades showed marked hypometria of primary saccade gain at all delays. FEP gain was unimpaired in Parkinson's disease, and primary saccade gain and FEP gain did not vary as a function of delay. Hypometria of primary saccades is compatible with dysfunction in striato-collicular inhibitory pathways in Parkinson's disease, arising as a functional consequence of dopamine deficiency in the basal ganglia. Maintenance of an accurate FEP gain suggests no deficit in oculomotor spatial working memory in Parkinson's disease, at least at delays of up to 5 sec.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Corpus Striatum / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Reflex / physiology
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Superior Colliculi / physiopathology