Visually dependent postural stabilization decreases as a consequence of a long-standing reduction of visual cues in patients affected by congenital nystagmus. The aim of the present study was to verify whether the changes in postural control in this group of patients are due to ocular oscillations or to reduced visual acuity. Therefore, postural control was evaluated when the nystagmus was blocked by the blocking position or by prisms and compared with the postural score observed in a group of normal controls whose visual acuity had been artificially reduced to the same level as that of the patients using Bangerter's filters. The results show a statistically significant improvement of visually dependent postural stabilization when ocular oscillations are inhibited either by the gaze blocking position or by prisms. They also show that postural control in normal subjects with Bangerter's filters is reduced, but is still significantly better than that observed when ocular oscillations are inhibited in patients affected by congenital nystagmus. Our data strongly support the role of ocular oscillations in visually dependent postural control, since postural impairment recovered under any condition in which ocular oscillations were abolished, despite differences in visual acuity. Our data also show that reduced visual acuity decreases visually dependent postural control to a lesser degree than ocular oscillations. This could be due to the fact that ocular oscillations are a disturbing input, usually inhibited centrally, in order to avoid oscillopsia. This mechanism is probably responsible for the reduced role of visual cues in the postural control in this group of patients. The reduction of visual acuity, by comparison, merely causes a decrease in visual cues, depending on the degree of visual loss. It can be concluded that the impaired postural control in patients affected by congenital nystagmus is mainly due to ocular oscillations, with reduced visual acuity creating a secondary effect.
|Numero di pagine||6|
|Rivista||JOURNAL OF VESTIBULAR RESEARCH|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2000|
- congenital nystagmus, visual dependent postural stabilization