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Inger Montfoort, Willem P. A. Kelders, Jos N. van der Geest, Inger B. Schipper, Louw Feenstra, Chris I. de Zeeuw, Maarten A. Frens; Interaction between Ocular Stabilization Reflexes in Patients with Whiplash Injury. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(7):2881-2884. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1561.
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purpose. In the past few decades, the automobile has become an increasingly more popular means of transport, which has led to an increasing number of rear-end collisions and consequently has resulted in more patients with whiplash-associated disorders (WADs). Recently, it was found that the gain of one of the ocular stabilization reflexes—the cervico-ocular reflex (COR)—is elevated in patients with whiplash injury. The COR responds to proprioceptive signals from the neck and acts in conjunction with the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and the optokinetic reflex (OKR) to preserve stable vision on the retina during head motion. Therefore, an investigation was conducted to determine whether the reported elevation of the COR in WADs is accompanied by changes in VOR or OKR.
methods. Eye movements of 13 patients and 18 age-matched healthy controls were recorded with an infrared eye-tracking device.
results. Analysis confirmed a significant increase in COR gain in whiplash patients. Meanwhile the VOR and OKR gains remained the same. No correlation was found between the gains of the reflexes in individual patients. This is in contrast to earlier observations in elderly subjects and subjects with labyrinthine defects, who showed increases in COR gain and decreases in VOR gain.
conclusions. Impaired neck motion, altered proprioception of the neck, or disorganization in the process of VOR plasticity could explain the lack of change in VOR gain.
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