Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Paul Wetzel


There have been few studies investigating the eye movement behavior of Parkinson’s disease patients during fixation. This study objectively measured the eye movements of 36 patients with Parkinson’s disease, and 20 age matched controls. Stimuli consisted of ten standardized text passages first organized by Miller and Coleman. In addition, subjects followed a randomly displaced step jump target motion. Pendular nystagmus was found in all Parkinson’s subjects, with an average frequency of 7.44 Hz. Saccadic peak velocity and duration along the main sequence were not statistically different from controls. A slower rate of reading was also noted in the Parkinson’s group in terms of characters per minute, but with no more regressions than normal. Rate of square wave jerks was also found to be normal. This suggests that the hallmark feature of eye movements in Parkinson’s disease is a pendular nystagmus during fixation, and all saccadic activity to be normal.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010