Saccades in presymptomatic and early stages of Huntington disease

T. Blekher, S. A. Johnson, J. Marshall, K. White, S. Hui, M. Weaver, J. Gray, R. Yee, J. C. Stout, X. Beristain, J. Wojcieszek, T. Foroud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate quantitative measures of eye movements as possible biomarkers in prediagnostic and early stages of Huntington disease (HD). METHODS: The study sample (n = 215) included individuals both at risk and recently diagnosed with HD. All participants completed a uniform clinical evaluation which included administration of the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) by a movement disorder neurologist and molecular testing to determine HD gene status. A high resolution, video-based eye tracking system was employed to quantify measures of eye movement (error rates, latencies, SD of latencies, velocities, and accuracies) during a computerized battery of saccadic and steady fixation tasks. RESULTS: Prediagnostic HD gene carriers and individuals with early HD demonstrated three types of significant abnormalities while performing memory guided and anti-saccade tasks: increased error rate, increased saccade latency, and increased variability of saccade latency. The eye movement abnormalities increased with advancing motor signs of HD. CONCLUSIONS: Abnormalities in eye movement measures are a sensitive biomarker in the prediagnostic and early stages of Huntington disease (HD). These measures may be more sensitive to prediagnostic changes in HD than the currently employed neurologic motor assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-399
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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