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Raageen Kanjee, Yeni H. Yücel, Martin Steinbach, Esther G. González, Neeru Gupta; Saccadic Eye Movements Are Impaired In Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):4408.
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To determine whether rapid eye movements called saccades are impaired in patients with glaucomatous neural degeneration.
Following Research Ethics Board approval, 21 patients with primary open angle glaucoma and 21 age-matched controls were prospectively evaluated. All patients underwent complete eye examination and visual field examination. Participants performed saccades to visual stimuli displayed 10 degree to the left or right of a fixation point. Eye movements were recorded using saccadometry. Median values for saccadic reaction time, amplitude, duration, and peak velocity were measured, as well as frequency of express saccades (less than 100 ms) and saccades with direction error. The two groups were compared using a t-test, and Pearson’s correlation analysis between saccadic parameters and visual field loss was performed.
Median saccadic reaction time was significantly increased in glaucoma patients compared to controls (228.5 ±45.03 (SD)) ms vs. 192.1 ±31.24 ms; P = 0.004). Median duration, amplitude and median peak velocity did not show significant differences between glaucoma and control groups. Frequency of express saccades was significantly decreased in glaucoma patients compared to controls (2.0 ±2.22) vs. 7.0 ±6.99; P=0.004). Both the number of direction errors and median amplitude were significantly correlated with the degree of visual field loss (P = 0.016 and P = 0.025, respectively).
Saccadic eye movements are significantly impaired in patients with early, moderate and advanced glaucoma. Further studies are needed to understand the pathological basis of these changes, and the functional impact of these changes on patients living with glaucoma.
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