Influence of orbital eye position on vertical saccades in progressive supranuclear palsy

Rosalyn Schneider, Athena L. Chen, Susan A. King, David E. Riley, Steven A. Gunzler, Michael W. Devereaux, R. John Leigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Disturbance of vertical saccades is a cardinal feature of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). We investigated whether the amplitude and peak velocity (PV) of saccades are affected by the orbital position from which movements start in PSP patients and age-matched control subjects. Subjects made vertical saccades in response to ±5° vertical target jumps with their heads in one of three positions: head "center," head pitched forward ∼15°, and head pitched back ∼15°. All patients showed some effect of starting eye position, whether beginning in the upward or downward field of gaze, on saccade amplitude, PV, and net range of movement. Generally, reduction of amplitude and PV were commensurate and bidirectional in the affected hemifield of gaze. Such findings are unlikely to be because of orbital factors and could be explained by varying degrees of involvement of rostral midbrain nuclei in the pathological process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Eyeball
  • Midbrain
  • Neural integrator
  • Parkinsonian disorders
  • Saccades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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