People with Parkinson's disease are more likely to experience ocular tremors when fixing the eye on a certain point, according to a new study. Researchers found that such tremors are common in those with Parkinson's, indicating that identifying tremors could be an early physiological biomarker for the condition. If the findings are confirmed, it is hoped that a precise oculomotor test can be developed to help doctors diagnose Parkinson's in patients. The discovery was made when scientists compared the ocular function of 112 patients with Parkinson's disease to 60 age-matched controls. "The major finding of the present study was that using modern eye movement tracking, oscillatory fixation instability was universally seen in a large cohort of 112 patients with Parkinson's disease," the authors wrote in the paper, which appears in the Archives of Neurology. What's more, the fact that the tremor was recorded in every patient, including those who did not take medication, suggests that the action is a result of the disease itself and not treatment. The study may also explain why those with Parkinson's are more likely to make safety mistakes when driving, after a 2006 study observed patients exhibit a declining driving ability.
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