Saccade velocity in idiopathic and autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia.

K Burk, M Fetter, M Skalej, F Laccone, G Stevanin, J Dichgans, T Klockgether
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 1997-06-01; 62(6): 662-664
DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.62.6.662

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1. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1997 Jun;62(6):662-4.

Saccade velocity in idiopathic and autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia.

Bürk K(1), Fetter M, Skalej M, Laccone F, Stevanin G, Dichgans J, Klockgether T.

Author information:
(1)Department of Neurology, University of Tübingen, Germany.

Slow saccades are often found in degenerative ataxia. Experimental studies have
shown that horizontal saccades are generated in the paramedian pontine reticular
formation and that lesions in this area produce slow saccades. Based on these
findings, saccade slowing should be a frequent feature of olivopontocerebellar
atrophy, a type of cerebellar degeneration with prominent involvement of the
pons. To test this hypothesis, saccade velocity was measured in 31 patients with
autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia (ADCA) and 17 patients with idiopathic
cerebellar ataxia (IDCA). Saccade velocity was reduced in most patients with ADCA
whereas it was normal in IDCA although olivopontocerebellar atrophy occurred in
both groups. Saccade velocities correlated with pontine size in ADCA but not in
IDCA. The data disprove the hypothesis that saccadic slowing is a clinical
hallmark of olivopontocerebellar atrophy. Instead, only patients with ADCA and
morphological features of olivopontocerebellar atrophy have slow saccades.

DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.62.6.662
PMCID: PMC1074160
PMID: 9219762 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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