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Demet Yüksel, Lance M. Optican, Philippe Lefèvre; Properties of Saccades in Duane Retraction Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(9):3144-3151. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-0060.
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purpose. To improve understanding of the binocular control of saccades by making high-resolution eye movement recordings in patients with unilateral Duane retraction syndrome (DRS) type I (marked by congenital absence of the sixth cranial nerve).
methods. Binocular eye movements were recorded in four patients in binocular viewing conditions during a saccade task.
results. Affected-side gaze showed normal saccades of the sound eye and undershooting saccades of the affected eye—evidence of intact interneurons, but deficient motoneurons, in the sixth-nerve nucleus on the affected side. Postsaccadic smooth onward drift followed undershooting saccades of the affected eye. Sound-side gaze, in the centripetal direction, showed relatively accurate saccades despite large offsets in initial position between the two eyes. In the centrifugal direction, there was a consistent undershoot of the affected eye. The sound eye showed unexpected overshoot. Postsaccadic drifts in opposite directions in the two eyes brought both eyes onto the target in an optimal time course.
conclusions. Studying the characteristics of the saccadic system in this oculomotor disorder gives new insight into binocular control of saccades and adaptation. In these patients, the oculomotor system was not capable of adapting the pulse command to the two eyes separately, even though DRS offers clear advantages of independent control. In contrast, independent adaptation of the saccadic step command was sent to the two eyes. This supports the idea that the rapid part of the saccadic command is common to both eyes.
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