Research suggests eye-related symptoms could indicate signs of Parkinson’s disease

Neurodegenerative Parkinson’s disease affects over 10 million people worldwide. It is commonly known to alter people’s movement by causing tremors and making them more delayed or stiffer, but researchers are starting to look into eye-related symptoms.

Most cases of Parkinson’s can get a diagnosis from using existing technologies which can detect subtle alterations in eye movements and the thinning of layers in the retina. Meaning, this could help to conclude the progression of the disease and the successfulness of the treatments.

Eye movements

According to research, 85 per cent of diagnosed Parkinson’s patients showed the symptom of rhythmic eyelid fluttering, while closing their eyes.

Currently, researchers that are examining the effect of Parkinson’s on eye movements are concentrating on the saccades, which is the sudden and rapid movements towards a stimulus. Anti-saccades refer to the eye movements away from a stimulus. According to a study, those with Parkinson’s were more likely to display errors in anti-saccades – for example, failing to look away from light.

Retinal thinning

Numerous Optical coherence tomography (OCT) studies have revealed that Parkinson’s patients experience retinal thinning.

Furthermore, thinning that occurs in the specific regions of the retina, and their neighbouring areas could even indicate the early onset of Parkinson’s disease.

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