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Pro‐Saccades Predict Cognitive Decline in Parkinson's Disease: ICICLE‐PD

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sam Stuart, Dr Rachael LawsonORCiD, Professor Alison Yarnall, Dr Lisa AlcockORCiD, Dr Tien Kheng Khoo, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


ObjectivesCumulative dementia incidence in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is significant, with major personal and socioeconomic impacts upon individuals with PD and their carers. Early identification of dementia risk is vital to ensure optimal intervention. Saccadic deficits often distinguish neurodegenerative disorders and cognitive impairment, but their ability to predict cognitive decline in PD has yet to be determined. This study aimed to: 1) evaluate baseline (6.4±6.1months since PD diagnosis) differences in pro-saccadic metrics between those with early PD and healthy age-matched adults; and 2) assess the ability of baseline pro-saccades to predict subsequent cognitive decline over 4.5 years.MethodsOne hundred and forty-one PD and 90 age-matched participants recruited at diagnosis underwent saccadometric assessment of pro-saccades at baseline and had cognition assessed at baseline, 18, 36 and 54-months. Pro-saccadic characteristics included latency, duration, peak and average velocity. Cognitive assessment included executive function, attention, fluctuating attention and memory. Linear mixed-effects models examined pro-saccadic metrics as predictors of cognitive decline over 54-months.ResultsPro-saccades were significantly impaired at baseline in PD compared with controls. Pro-saccadic characteristics of latency, duration, peak and average velocity predicted decline in global cognition, executive function, attention and memory over 54-months in PD. Additionally, only reduction in global cognition and attention were predicted by pro-saccadic metrics in age-matched adults, indicating that PD findings were not purely age-related. ConclusionSaccadic characteristics are impaired in early-PD and are predictive of cognitive decline in several domains. Assessment of saccades may provide a useful non-invasive biomarker for long-term PD cognitive decline in early disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stuart S, Lawson RA, Yarnall YA, Nell J, Alcock L, Duncan DW, Khoo TK, Barker RA, Rochester L, Burn DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Movement Disorders

Year: 2019

Volume: 34

Issue: 11

Pages: 1690-1698

Print publication date: 19/11/2019

Online publication date: 23/08/2019

Acceptance date: 12/07/2019

Date deposited: 15/07/2019

ISSN (print): 0885-3185

ISSN (electronic): 1531-8257

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/mds.27813


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Funder referenceFunder name
J-0802Parkinson`s UK (formerly Parkinson`s Disease Society)
National Insistute for Health Research