We recorded saccadic eye movements in patients mildly affected with Huntington’s disease. Most showed an increase in saccade latencies that was greater for saccades made on command than to the sudden appearance of a visual target. All, patients showed excessive distractibility during attempted fixation. They had particular difficulty suppressing a saccade to a suddenly appearing visual target when simultaneously trying to initiate a saccade in the opposite direction. Our results are compatible with a posited role of the basal ganglia in both the initiation of volitional saccades and in the maintenance of fixation. Saccade abnormalities—especially distractibility—are sensitive but probably not specific indicators of Huntington’s disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology