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Claudine Bellerive, Gilles Lalonde, Laurence Letartre, Martin Simoneau, Normand Teasdale, Denis Laurendeau, Chantal Mérette, Marcelle Giasson, Marc Hébert; MOTION PERCEPTION IN DRY AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4126.
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To investigate the speed discrimination performance in peripheral fields of patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Fifty-two participants were recruited for this prospective cross-sectional study; 18 AMD patients, 18 age-matched controls and 16 young controls. Initial clinical assessment included the measure of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) with ETDRS chart. The contrast sensitivity (CS) was also evaluated with sine-wave gratings chart for five spatial frequencies (1.5, 3, 6, 12 and 18 cycle per degree). Optic coherence tomographic (OCT) scans and visual field (VF) examinations were performed for all participants to exclude presence of other ocular diseases. At the time of the study, all participants held a valid driver’s license. Speed discrimination performance was assessed by a two-alternative forced choice paradigm. Random dot cinematograms used as speed stimuli moved from the center to the periphery.
Patients with AMD had significant worse BCVA and CS outcomes than age-matched and young controls. On average, the AMD group showed lower speed discrimination thresholds compared with age-matched control (p=0.04). The spread and the bias of the resulting psychometric function were not significantly different between the study groups (p>0.05). A tendency to overestimate speeds in both control groups and to underestimate speeds in AMD group was also observed.
This study presents psychophysical evidence for better speed discrimination in peripheral fields of patients with AMD compared to their age-matched controls. In addition, these data highlight the importance of peripheral vision in AMD even for mild to moderate central visual loss.
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