Eye Movements in Ephedrone-Induced Parkinsonism
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Patients with ephedrone parkinsonism (EP) show a complex, rapidly progressive, irreversible, and levodopa non-responsive parkinsonian and dystonic syndrome due to manganese intoxication. Eye movements may help to differentiate parkinsonian syndromes providing insights into which brain networks are affected in the underlying disease, but they have never been systematically studied in EP. Horizontal and vertical eye movements were recorded in 28 EP and compared to 21 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, and 27 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects using standardized oculomotor tasks with infrared videooculography. EP patients showed slow and hypometric horizontal saccades, an increased occurrence of square wave jerks, long latencies of vertical antisaccades, a high error rate in the horizontal antisaccade task, and made more errors than controls when pro- and antisaccades were mixed. Based on oculomotor performance, a direct differentiation between EP and PD was possible only by the velocity of horizontal saccades. All remaining metrics were similar between both patient groups. EP patients present extensive oculomotor disturbances probably due to manganese-induced damage to the basal ganglia, reflecting their role in oculomotor system.
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