Oculomotor Dysfunction (oculomotor + dysfunction)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Phenotype variability in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2: A longitudinal family survey and a case featuring an unusual benign course of disease,,

Sascha Hering MD
Abstract We report a 67 years old female patient out of a multigenerational family with spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) with an unusually benign course of disease. Although all SCA2 gene carriers have by now developed the predominant gait ataxia and brainstem oculomotor dysfunction, the index patient presented with a very mild course of disease, scoring only six points on the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia after a disease duration of 13 years. Otherwise, intragenerational variability within family members such as the age at onset of disease and the course of disease was low. Reinvestigation of the genetic background variables in the SCA2 gene carrier reported here showed 27 repeats in the normal allele and 37 noninterrupted repeats in the abnormal allele. Interestingly, this patient has been taking lithium-carbonate over more than 30 years because of psychotic depression. Although anecdotic, this SCA2 case may provide promising insights into possible disease modifying mechanisms in SCA2. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society [source]

Clinical manifestation of focal cerebellar disease as related to the organization of neural pathways

E. Dietrichs
Neural pathways connect different parts of the cerebellum to different parts of the central nervous system. The cerebellum may be divided anatomically and functionally into three major regions. The cerebellar hemispheres and a small part of the posterior lobe vermis form the pontocerebellum, which receives inputs from the cerebral cortex via the pontine nuclei. The anterior lobe and most of the posterior lobe vermis make up the spinocerebellum, which receives afferents from the spinal cord. The nodulus and flocculus are connected with the vestibular nuclei and constitute the vestibulocerebellum. Most cases of cerebellar disease affect more than one region and different pathways. Hence, they cause generalized cerebellar symptoms dominated by impaired motor control and balance. Focal syndromes after restricted cerebellar lesions are rare. Isolated spinocerebellar affection may give gait ataxia. Vestibulocerebellar disease causes equilibrium disturbances with truncal ataxia and nystagmus. Pontocerebellar lesions typically give ipsilateral limb ataxia, but also dysartria and oculomotor dysfunction if vermal parts are involved. The clinical picture is in most cases of cerebellar disease dominated by motor disturbances, but the cerebellum also participates in the modulation of autonomic and affective responses and in cognitive functions. The cerebrocerebellar and hypothalamocerebellar circuits may be important for these tasks. [source]

The human premotor oculomotor brainstem system , can it help to understand oculomotor symptoms in Huntington's disease?

U. Rüb
Recent progress in oculomotor research has enabled new insights into the functional neuroanatomy of the human premotor oculomotor brainstem network. In the present review, we provide an overview of its functional neuroanatomy and summarize the broad range of oculomotor dysfunctions that may occur in Huntington's disease (HD) patients. Although some of these oculomotor symptoms point to an involvement of the premotor oculomotor brainstem network in HD, no systematic analysis of this functional system has yet been performed in brains of HD patients. Therefore, its exact contribution to oculomotor symptoms in HD remains unclear. A possible strategy to clarify this issue is the use of unconventional 100-µm-thick serial tissue sections stained for Nissl substance and lipofuscin pigment (Nissl-pigment stain according to Braak). This technique makes it possible to identify the known nuclei of the premotor oculomotor brainstem network and to study their possible involvement in the neurodegenerative process. Studies applying this morphological approach and using the current knowledge regarding the functional neuroanatomy of this human premotor oculomotor brainstem network will help to elucidate the anatomical basis of the large spectrum of oculomotor dysfunctions that are observed in HD patients. This knowledge may aid clinicians in the diagnosis and monitoring of the disease. [source]

Visuospatial encoding deficits and compensatory strategies in schizophrenia revealed by eye movement analysis during a working memory task

Luca Cocchi
Objective: To investigate scanpath abnormalities during the encoding of static stimuli in schizophrenia and their interaction with visuospatial working memory (VSWM) dysfunction. Methods: Outpatients with schizophrenia and control subjects were asked to encode a static pattern for subsequent recognition after a short delay. We measured the number of correct and incorrect choices. We also assessed the number and the distribution of fixations, the scanning time in specific regions of interest (ROIs) and the head movements during the encoding of the stimuli. The distributions of fixations and scanning time in definite ROIs during the discrimination of the correct pattern from the foils were also measured. Results: Patients recognised fewer correct patterns than controls. Correct trials in patients were characterised by a specific exploration of the central part of the stimulus during its presentation, whereas this feature was absent in incorrect trials. However, the scanning time and the numbers of fixations and head movements during encoding were similar in both groups and unrelated to recognition accuracy. In both groups, correct trials were associated with a selective exploration of the correct pattern amongst the six possibilities during recognition. Furthermore, patients gave more attention to incorrect patterns with a leftmost element identical to that of the correct response and also those approximating its global structure. Conclusion: Patients showed a VSWM deficit independent of oculomotor dysfunctions and head movements during encoding. Patients' correct trials were related to specific scanning during encoding and discrimination phases. Analysis of these patterns suggests that patients try to compensate for reduced VSWM ability by using specific encoding strategies. [source]