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Slower Saccadic Reading Found in Parkinson Disease

PLoS One; ePub 2018 Jan 24; Jehangir, Yu, et al

A simple reading task using 120 single-digit numbers can be used as a screening tool in the clinical setting to assess functional ocular motor difficulties in Parkinson disease (PD) that can have a profound impact on quality of life, a recent study found. Researchers assessed saccadic reading using variations of the King-Devick (KD) test, a rapid, single-digit, number naming test, as a way to assess the ability to make serial left-to-right ocular motor movements necessary for reading. They recruited 42 treated PD patients and 80 age-matched controls and compared their reading times with a variety of measures. They found:

  • PD patients read about 20% slower than controls on all tests, and both groups read irregularly spaced numbers slower than regularly spaced numbers.
  • Having lines between numbers to guide reading did not impact reading time in both PD and controls.
  • Saccadic reading is slower in PD, but controls and PD patients are both impacted by visuospatial planning challenges posed by increased visual crowding and irregularity of number spacing.

Citation:

Jehangir N, Yu CY, Song J, et al. Slower saccadic reading in Parkinson’s disease. [Published online ahead of print January 24, 2018]. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0191005.

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