Measuring saccades in patients with Niemann-Pick type C: A comparison between video-oculography and a novel eye tracking test based on continuous psychophysics

A. Grillini, L. H. Koens, G. Lizaitiene, F. Lange, F. W. Cornelissen, M. A.J. Tijssen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Introduction: Vertical supranuclear gaze palsy is a key feature of Niemann-Pick type C (NP-C) and is commonly quantified using video-oculography (VOG). VOG requires sitting still for long times and performing specific tasks, thus it can be challenging or impossible for patients severely affected by movement disorders or cognitive impairment. To overcome this limitation, we measure saccades of NP-C patients using a fast eye tracking test based on continuous psychophysics and compare it to VOG. Methods: Saccades of six NP-C patients and six age-matched controls were assessed using VOG and Standardized Oculomotor and Neuro-ophthalmic Disorders Assessment (SONDA). In SONDA, participants continuously track a semi-randomly moving dot on a computer screen while their gaze is being tracked. For both assessments, saccades were quantified using four conventional measures: amplitude, gain, latency, and peak velocity. Furthermore, SONDA's continuous measures were quantified with several novel spatio-temporal properties. Results: In the NP-C patients, both methods revealed reduced amplitude, gain, peak velocity, and increased latency of vertical saccades compared to horizontal saccades and compared to healthy controls. Effect sizes obtained with SONDA were overall larger than those for VOG. SONDA's spatio-temporal properties showed similar trends. Conclusion: SONDA reveals a deterioration of vertical saccades in NP-C patients that is consistent with VOG. SONDA's measures based on continuous psychophysics are consistent with traditional saccadic parameters and can potentially provide complementary information. SONDA shows larger effect sizes than VOG, suggesting that it provides robust and clinically relevant outcomes with a more intuitive task and shorter testing time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100170
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Parkinsonism and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2022


  • Eye movement disorders
  • Niemann-Pick type C
  • Vertical supranuclear gaze palsy
  • VOG

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