Oculo-visual dysfunction in Parkinson's disease

R.A. Armstrong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This review describes the oculo-visual problems likely to be encountered in Parkinson's disease (PD) with special reference to three questions: (1) are there visual symptoms characteristic of the prodromal phase of PD, (2) is PD dementia associated with specific visual changes, and (3) can visual symptoms help in the differential diagnosis of the parkinsonian syndromes, viz. PD, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), multiple system atrophy (MSA), and corticobasal degeneration (CBD)? Oculo-visual dysfunction in PD can involve visual acuity, dynamic contrast sensitivity, colour discrimination, pupil reactivity, eye movement, motion perception, and visual processing speeds. In addition, disturbance of visuo-spatial orientation, facial recognition problems, and chronic visual hallucinations may be present. Prodromal features of PD may include autonomic system dysfunction potentially affecting pupil reactivity, abnormal colour vision, abnormal stereopsis associated with postural instability, defects in smooth pursuit eye movements, and deficits in visuo-motor adaptation, especially when accompanied by idiopathic rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder. PD dementia is associated with the exacerbation of many oculo-visual problems but those involving eye movements, visuo-spatial function, and visual hallucinations are most characteristic. Useful diagnostic features in differentiating the parkinsonian symptoms are the presence of visual hallucinations, visuo-spatial problems, and variation in saccadic eye movement dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-726
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Armstrong, R. A. (2015). Oculo-visual dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. Journal of Parkinson's Disease, 5(4), 715-726.

Keywords

  • differential diagnosis
  • oculo-visual dysfunction
  • Parkinsonian syndromes
  • Parkinsons disease (PD)
  • PD dementia
  • prodromal phase

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