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Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology:
doi: 10.1097/WNN.0b013e31823f90eb
Original Studies

Smooth Pursuit and Fixation Ability in Children With Tourette Syndrome

Tajik-Parvinchi, Diana J. PhD*,†; Sandor, Paul FRCPC, MD†,‡

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Abstract

Objective: The smooth pursuit eye movements and fixation ability of children aged 8 to 16 years with Tourette syndrome (TS) were examined.

Background: Although several studies have examined the saccadic ability of patients with TS, there have been only a few studies examining pursuit ability in TS.

Method: Pursuit gain (eye velocity/target velocity) and intrusive saccades during fixation were measured in children with TS-only, TS+attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and TS+ADHD+obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and in controls (8 to 16 y). Two pursuit tasks and 1 fixation task were used. In random pursuit 1 (RP1), each step and ramp cycle began from fixation; in random pursuit 2 (RP2), each cycle followed the next. In the fixation task, children were required to maintain fixation on a center dot and ignore distractor stimuli.

Results: All children had significantly higher pursuit gains in RP2 than in RP1 when pursuing a 30 degrees/s moving target. In addition, in RP2, the TS+ADHD+OCD group displayed significantly higher pursuit gains relative to the TS-only, TS+ADHD, and control groups. In the fixation task, the TS+ADHD group exhibited significantly more intrusive saccades than the TS+ADHD+OCD and control groups.

Conclusions: Our findings support an enhanced oculomotor ability in the TS+ADHD+OCD group and the presence of an online gain control mechanism during ongoing pursuit. These findings are discussed in more detail.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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