Abnormalities of saccadic eye movements in dementia due to Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment

Thomas D.W. Wilcockson*, Diako Mardanbegi, Baiqiang Xia, Simon Taylor, Pete Sawyer, Hans W. Gellersen, Ira Leroi, Rebecca Killick, Trevor J. Crawford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is increasing evidence that people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have subtle impairments in cognitive inhibition that can be detected by using relatively simple eye-tracking paradigms, but these subtle impairments are often missed by traditional cognitive assessments. People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at an increased likelihood of dementia due to AD. No study has yet investigated and contrasted the MCI subtypes in relation to eye movement performance. Methods: In this work we explore whether eye-tracking impairments can distinguish between patients with the amnesic and the non-amnesic variants of MCI. Participants were 68 people with dementia due to AD, 42 had a diagnosis of aMCI, and 47 had a diagnosis of naMCI, and 92 age-matched cognitively healthy controls. Results: The findings revealed that eye-tracking can distinguish between the two forms of MCI. Conclusions: The work provides further support for eye-tracking as a useful diagnostic biomarker in the assessment of dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5389-5398
Number of pages10
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 Wilcockson et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Anti-saccade
  • Eye tracking
  • Inhibitory control
  • Mild cognitive impairment


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