Understanding reading complaints in people with Parkinson’s disease

Iris van der Lijn*, Pia Langenberg, Gera de Haan, Fleur van der Feen, Anne Vrijling, C Stellingwerf, Teus van Laar, Joost Heutink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Background and Aims: People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) frequently experience reading difficulties.Little is known about what functional impairments distinguish people with PD with and without readingdifficulties and how these should guide rehabilitation. The aim is to provide concrete advice for an efficientstepped care model for reading difficulties in PD, based on extensive functional assessments.Methods: This study included 74 people with PD in a neurovisual rehabilitation setting who underwentassessment of visual, visuoperceptual, and cognitive functions. Outcomes were compared between thosewith frequent (RD+; N = 55) and infrequent reading difficulties (RD–; N = 19). Aids and advice providedduring rehabilitation were registered.Results: Only a few functions appeared to distinguish RD+ and RD–. Visual functions (i.e., contrastsensitivity, g = 0.76; reading acuity, g = 0.66; visual acuity, g = 0.54) and visuoperceptual functions (i.e.,visual attention, g = 0.58, visual motor speed, g = 0.56) showed significant worse scores in RD+ comparedto RD–. Aids and advice applied consisted mainly of optimizing refraction, improving lighting, andoptimizing text size and spacing.Conclusions: The test battery showed significant differences between RD+ and RD– on only a few tests onvisual and visuoperceptual functions. The applied aids and advice matched well with these impairments.Therefore, we recommend a stepped care model, starting with a short test battery on these functions. If thisbattery indicates functional impairments, this can be followed by standard aids and advice to improvereading. Only in case of insufficient effect additional testing should take place.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4-Jun-2024
EventEuropean Neuro-Ophthalmology Society 2024 - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3-Jun-20246-Jun-2024


ConferenceEuropean Neuro-Ophthalmology Society 2024
Abbreviated titleEUNOS2024
Internet address


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