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Using fast eye movements to study fatigue in multiple sclerosis

Matta, Manuela and Leigh, R. John and Pugliatti, Maura and Aiello, Isidoro Cesare Giuseppe and Serra, Alessandro (2009) Using fast eye movements to study fatigue in multiple sclerosis. Neurology (73), p. 798-804. eISSN 1526-632X. Article.

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether internuclear ophthalmoparesis (INO) due to demyelination of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF) provides a model for studying the poorly understood symptom of fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS). We asked whether repetitive horizontal saccades increased eye movement disconjugacy in patients with MS with INO, but not in healthy subjects.
Methods: We compared conjugacy of horizontal saccades in 9 patients with INO (4 bilateral, total 13) and 8 controls during minute 1 and minute 10 of a fatigue test; we measured the ratio of abducting/adducting peak velocity (versional disconjugacy index [VDI]).
Results: VDI values were greater in patients than controls. During the fatigue test, controls showed no changes of VDI, but patients did (p<0.005) for 10/13 INOs, with increased ratios in 5 cases and a decrease in the other 5.
Conclusion: Fatigue-induced worsening of conjugacy was observed in milder internuclear ophthalmoparesis (INO), and may reflect deteriorated fidelity of saccadic pulse transmission along demyelinated medial longitudinal fasciculus. Improved conjugacy was observed in the more severe INOs, and may be due to adaptive mechanisms, such as recruitment of vergence to aid gaze shifts. INO may provide an accessible, reductionist model to study how decreased neural transmission influences fatigue in multiple sclerosis, how the brain adapts to it, and whether drugs may prove therapeutic.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:3495
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Fast eye movements, multiple sclerosis, internuclear ophthalmoparesis (INO), fatigue
Subjects:Area 06 - Scienze mediche > MED/26 Neurologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 03 Istituti > Clinica neurologica
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
eISSN:1526-632X
Copyright Holders:© 2009 American Academy of Neurology
Deposited On:22 Jan 2010 12:16

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