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Pro-saccades predict decline in attention over 18 months in newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sam Stuart, Dr Lisa AlcockORCiD, Dr Jez Nell, Dr Rachael LawsonORCiD, Dr Rosie Morris, Professor Alison Yarnall, Professor David Burn, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD


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Objective This study investigated 1) pro-saccades in a newly diagnosed cohort of Parkinson’s disease (PD) compared to healthy older adult controls at baseline, and 2) whether baseline pro-saccades can predict attentional decline over 18months better than traditional computerised testing in PD and controls.BackgroundCognitive impairments, such as attentional decline and fluctuation, are common in PD and impact saccadic eye-movements [1]. Accuracy, control and speed of saccades have been linked to cognitive processes, primarily attention [2]. Saccadic deficits have also been linked to poor mobility and may impact falls risk [3]. Saccades may therefore be a useful non-invasive biomarker for cognitive decline or dementia in PD.MethodsPro-saccades were recorded using a saccadometer (Ober consulting) in 97 PD and 71 healthy controls at baseline. Pro-saccade characteristics included latency, duration, amplitude, average and peak velocity. Attention (power of attention and fluctuating attention (FA)) were assessed using a computerized battery. Independent t-tests compared pro-saccade characteristics in PD and controls. Scatterplots and linear multiple regression (controlled for age, sex, education and change in levodopa) assessed predictive value of baseline pro-saccades in relation to change in FA over 18months.ResultsPro-saccades were significantly impaired in PD compared to controls at baseline (amplitude; p=.019). Increased FA over 18months was associated with more variable pro-saccade duration (CV) at baseline in PD (r=.30, p=.003) and controls (r=.24, p=.046). Pro-saccade duration (CV) was then entered into a regression model and was an independent predictor of change in FA (CV) in PD (F=2.78, p=.022, r2=.134 (β=-.282, p=.006)), but not controls. Conversely, baseline FA was unable to predict change in FA in PD, whereas the opposite was true for controls (F=5.56, p=.001, r2=.244 (β=-.514, p<.001)).ConclusionsPro-saccades are impaired in PD compared to controls at diagnosis. Baseline pro-saccade duration (CV) rather than baseline FA was a significant predictor of change in FA over 18months in PD, but not in controls. Therefore, saccades are a feasible biomarker of attentional decline in PD.ReferencesAntoniades, C.A., et al., Mov Dis, 2015, 30(6): p.843-47Ballanger, B., J Neurophys, 2009. 102(5): p.2578-80Stuart, S., et al.,Neuro&BioRev, 2016. 62: p.76-88

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stuart S, Alcock L, Nell J, Lawson RA, Morris R, Yarnall AJ, Burn D, Rochester L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 21st International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: 656-656

Print publication date: 01/06/2017

Online publication date: 02/06/2017

Acceptance date: 10/03/2017

ISSN: 0885-3185

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/mds.27087

Series Title: Movement Disorders