Eye movements in ataxia-telangiectasia

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Article abstract

The spectrum of eye movement disorders in six patients with ataxia-telangiectasia at different stages of progression was assessed quantitatively by electrooculography. All patients demonstrated abnormalities of voluntary and involuntary saccades. The youngest and least involved patient had significantly incresed reaction times of voluntary saccades, but normal accuracy and velocity. The other patients demonstrated increased reaction times and marked hypometria of horizontal and vertical voluntary saccades. Saccade velocity remained normal. Vestibular and optokinetic fast components (involuntary saccades) had normal amplitude and velocity but the eyes deviated tonically in the direction of the slow component. We conclude that patients with ataxia-telangiectasia have a defect in the initiation of voluntary and involuntary saccades in the earliest stages. These findings are distinctly different from those in other familial cerebellar atrophy syndromes.

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