Eyelid movements during blinking in patients with Parkinson's disease

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We examined eyelid movements during spontaneous, voluntary, and trigeminal reflex blinks in 16 patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease (PD)offmedication and 14 controls. Voluntary and reflex blink amplitudes tended to be smaller than normal for PD patients, whereas eyelid kinematics (amplitude–maximum velocity relationship) for all three blink types were normal. Spontaneous blink rate was less than normal for 10 patients and abnormally high for 6 patients. A significant positive correlation between spontaneous blink amplitude and blink rate was found. These observations suggest that PD modifies the gain of a premotor blink circuit shared by spontaneous, voluntary, and reflex blinks. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society

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