Accuracy of clinical versus oculographic detection of pathological saccadic slowing

Scott N. Grossman, Rachel Calix, Todd Hudson, John Ross Rizzo, Ivan Selesnick, Steven Frucht, Steven L. Galetta, Laura J. Balcer, Janet C. Rucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Saccadic slowing as a component of supranuclear saccadic gaze palsy is an important diagnostic sign in multiple neurologic conditions, including degenerative, inflammatory, genetic, or ischemic lesions affecting brainstem structures responsible for saccadic generation. Little attention has been given to the accuracy with which clinicians correctly identify saccadic slowing. We compared clinician (n = 19) judgements of horizontal and vertical saccade speed on video recordings of saccades (from 9 patients with slow saccades, 3 healthy controls) to objective saccade peak velocity measurements from infrared oculographic recordings. Clinician groups included neurology residents, general neurologists, and fellowship-trained neuro-ophthalmologists. Saccades with normal peak velocities on infrared recordings were correctly identified as normal in 57% (91/171; 171 = 9 videos × 19 clinicians) of clinician decisions; saccades determined to be slow on infrared recordings were correctly identified as slow in 84% (224/266; 266 = 14 videos × 19 clinicians) of clinician decisions. Vertical saccades were correctly identified as slow more often than horizontal saccades (94% versus 74% of decisions). No significant differences were identified between clinician training levels. Reliable differentiation between normal and slow saccades is clinically challenging; clinical performance is most accurate for detection of vertical saccade slowing. Quantitative analysis of saccade peak velocities enhances accurate detection and is likely to be especially useful for detection of mild saccadic slowing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120436
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022


  • Clinical biomarkers
  • Infrared oculography
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Saccades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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