Vertical saccades have never been studied in dyslexic children. We examined vertical visually guided saccades in fifty-six dyslexic children (mean age: 10.5±2.56 years old) and fifty-six age matched non dyslexic children (mean age: 10.3±1.74 years old). Binocular eye movements were recorded using an infrared video-oculography system (mobileEBT®, e(ye)BRAIN). Dyslexic children showed significantly longer latency than the non dyslexic group, also the occurrence of anticipatory and express saccades was more important in dyslexic than in non dyslexic children. The gain and the mean velocity values were significantly smaller in dyslexic than in non dyslexic children. Finally, the up-down asymmetry reported in normal population for the gain and the velocity of vertical saccades was observed in dyslexic children and interestingly, dyslexic children also reported an up-down asymmetry for the mean latency. Taken together all these findings suggested impairment in cortical areas responsible of vertical saccades performance and also at peripheral level of the extra-ocular oblique muscles; moreover, a visuo-attentionnal bias could explain the up-down asymmetry reported for the vertical saccade triggering.
We compared the effect of oculomotor tasks on postural sway in two groups of ADHD children with and without methylphenidate (MPH) treatment against a group of control age-matched children. Fourteen MPH-untreated ADHD children, fourteen MPH-treated ADHD children and a group of control children participated to the study. Eye movements were recorded using a video-oculography system and postural sway measured with a force platform simultaneously. Children performed fixation, pursuits, pro- and anti-saccades. We analyzed the number of saccades during fixation, the number of catch-up saccades during pursuits, the latency of pro- and anti-saccades; the occurrence of errors in the anti-saccade task and the surface and mean velocity of the center of pressure (CoP). During the postural task, the quality of fixation was significantly worse in both groups of ADHD children with respect to control children; in contrast, the number of catch-up saccades during pursuits, the latency of pro-/anti-saccades and the rate of errors in the anti-saccade task did not differ in the three groups of children. The surface of the CoP in MPH-treated children was similar to that of control children, while MPH-untreated children showed larger postural sway. When performing any saccades, the surface of the CoP improved with respect to fixation or pursuits tasks. This study provides evidence of poor postural control in ADHD children, probably due to cerebellar deficiencies. Our study is also the first to show an improvement on postural sway in ADHD children performing saccadic eye movements.
If extra-axial proptosis is by far the most common symptom of infantile malignant orbital tumors, enophthalmos is a rare and undocumented sign. We report the first case of a pediatric metastatic orbital tumor revealed by enophthalmos alone.
Studies dealing with developmental aspects of binocular eye movement behavior during reading are scarce. In this study we have explored binocular strategies during reading and visual search tasks in a large population of dyslexic and typical readers. Binocular eye movements were recorded using a video-oculography system in 43 dyslexic children (aged 8-13) and in a group of 42 age-matched typical readers. The main findings are: (i) ocular motor characteristics of dyslexic children are impaired in comparison to those reported in typical children in reading task; (ii) a developmental effect exists in reading in control children, in dyslexic children the effect of development was observed only on fixation durations; and (iii) ocular motor behavior in the visual search tasks is similar for dyslexic children and for typical readers, except for the disconjugacy during and after the saccade: dyslexic children are impaired in comparison to typical children. Data reported here confirms and expands previous studies on children's reading. Both reading skills and binocular saccades coordination improve with age in typical readers. The atypical eye movement's patterns observed in dyslexic children suggest a deficiency in the visual attentional processing as well as an impairment of the ocular motor saccade and vergence systems interaction.
Strabismus is a frequent ocular disorder that develops early in life in humans. As a general rule, it is characterized by a misalignment of the visual axes which most often appears during the critical period of visual development. However other characteristics of strabismus may vary greatly among subjects, for example, being convergent or divergent, horizontal or vertical, with variable angles of deviation. Binocular vision may also vary greatly. Our main goal here is to develop the idea that such "polymorphy" reflects a wide variety in the possible origins of strabismus. We propose that strabismus must be considered as possibly resulting from abnormal genetic and/or acquired factors, anatomical and/or functional abnormalities, in the sensory and/or the motor systems, both peripherally and/or in the brain itself. We shall particularly develop the possible "central" origins of strabismus. Indeed, we are convinced that it is time now to open this "black box" in order to move forward. All of this will be developed on the basis of both presently available data in literature (including most recent data) and our own experience. Both data in biology and medicine will be referred to. Our conclusions will hopefully help ophthalmologists to better understand strabismus and to develop new therapeutic strategies in the future. Presently, physicians eliminate or limit the negative effects of such pathology both on the development of the visual system and visual perception through the use of optical correction and, in some cases, extraocular muscle surgery. To better circumscribe the problem of the origins of strabismus, including at a cerebral level, may improve its management, in particular with respect to binocular vision, through innovating tools by treating the pathology at the source.
It remains controversial whether and how spatial frequency (SF) is represented tangentially in cat visual cortex. Several models were proposed, but there is no consensus. Worse still, some data indicate that the SF organization previously revealed by optical imaging techniques simply reflects non-stimulus-specific responses. Instead, stimulus-specific responses arise from the homogeneous distribution of geniculo-cortical afferents representing X and Y pathways. To clarify this, we developed a new imaging method allowing rapid stimulation with a wide range of SFs covering more than 6 octaves with only 0.2 octave resolution. A benefit of this method is to avoid error of high-pass filtering methods which systematically under-represent dominant selectivity features near pinwheel centers. We show unequivocally that SF is organized into maps in cat area 17 (A17) and area 18 (A18). The SF organization in each area displays a global anteroposterior SF gradient and local patches. Its layout is constrained to that of the orientation map, and it is suggested that both maps share a common functional architecture. A17 and A18 are bound at the transition zone by another SF gradient involving the geniculo-cortical and the callosal pathways. A model based on principal component analysis shows that SF maps integrate three different SF-dependent channels. Two of these reflect the segregated excitatory input from X and Y geniculate cells to A17 and A18. The third one conveys a specific combination of excitatory and suppressive inputs to the visual cortex. In a manner coherent with anatomical and electrophysiological data, it is interpreted as originating from a subtype of Y geniculate cells.
We explore the influence of a secondary cognitive task on concurrent postural control in dyslexic children. Seventeen children with dyslexia (DYS) were compared with thirteen non-dyslexic children (NDYS). Postural control was recorded in Standard Romberg (SR) and Tandem Romberg (TR) conditions while children, in separate sessions, have to fixate on a target and name simple objects appearing consecutively on a computer screen. The surface, the length and the mean speed of the center of pressure were analyzed; the percentage of correct responses to the cognitive task was also measured. DYS are significantly more unstable than NDYS. The secondary cognitive task significantly decreases the postural stability in DYS only. For both children postural performances in the TR condition is significantly worse than in the SR condition. The percentage of wrong responses to the cognitive task is significantly higher in DYS. Postural instability observed in DYS supports the hypothesis that there is a deficit of automatic integration of visual information and postural control in these children. This result is in line with the U-shaped non linear model showing that a secondary task performed during a postural task leads to an impaired postural stability probably due to focus attention on the cognitive task.
To our knowledge, studies comparing binocular eye movements during reading task in strabismic children are scarce. The goal of our study was to examine binocular coordination of saccades during reading in strabismic children.
The objective of our study was to examine horizontal smooth pursuit performance in strabismic children and in children with vergence deficits, and to compare these data with those recorded in a group of control age-matched children.
The influence of a secondary task on concurrent postural control was explored in twenty-one dyslexic children (mean age: 10.4±0.3 years). Data were compared with twenty age-matched non-dyslexic children. As a secondary task, a modified Stroop test was used, in which words were replaced with pictures of fruits. The postural control of children was recorded in standard Romberg condition as the children were asked to name the colour of fruits appearing consecutively on a computer screen. Two conditions were tested: a congruent condition, in which the fruit was drawn in its natural ripe colour, and a non-congruent colour condition (NC), in which the fruit was drawn in three abnormal colours. A fixating condition was used as baseline. We analyzed the surface, length and mean speed of the center of pressure and measured the number of correct responses in the Stroop-like tasks. Dyslexic children were seen to be significantly more unstable than non-dyslexic ones. For both groups of children, the secondary task significantly increased postural instability in comparison with the fixating condition. The number of correct responses in the modified Stroop task was significantly higher in the non-dyslexic than in the dyslexic group. The postural instability observed in dyslexic children is in line with the cerebellar hypothesis and supports the idea of a deficit in automatic performance in such children. Furthermore, in accordance with cross domain competition model, our findings show that attentional resources are used to a greater extent by the secondary task than in controlling body stability.
In the mammalian primary visual cortex, the corpus callosum contributes to the unification of the visual hemifields that project to the two hemispheres. Its development depends on visual experience. When this is abnormal, callosal connections must undergo dramatic anatomical and physiological changes. However, data concerning these changes are sparse and incomplete. Thus, little is known about the impact of abnormal postnatal visual experience on the development of callosal connections and their role in unifying representation of the two hemifields. Here, the effects of early unilateral convergent strabismus (a model of abnormal visual experience) were fully characterized with respect to the development of the callosal connections in cat visual cortex, an experimental model for humans. Electrophysiological responses and 3D reconstruction of single callosal axons show that abnormally asymmetrical callosal connections develop after unilateral convergent strabismus, resulting from an extension of axonal branches of specific orders in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the deviated eye and a decreased number of nodes and terminals in the other (ipsilateral to the non-deviated eye). Furthermore this asymmetrical organization prevents the establishment of a unifying representation of the two visual hemifields. As a general rule, we suggest that crossed and uncrossed retino-geniculo-cortical pathways contribute successively to the development of the callosal maps in visual cortex.
Early studies reported some abnormalities in saccade and vergence eye movements in children with vertigo and vergence deficiencies. The purpose of this study was to further examine saccade and vergence performance in a population of 44 children (mean age: 12.3±1.6 years) with vertigo symptoms and with different levels of vergence abnormalities, as assessed by static orthoptic examination (near point of convergence, prism bar and cover-uncover test).
The purpose of this study was to examine the postural control in children with strabismus before and after eye surgery. Control of posture is a complex multi-sensorial process relying on visual, vestibular and proprioceptive systems. Reduced influence of one of such systems leads to postural adaptation due to a compensation of one of the other systems . Nine children with strabismus (4-8 years old) participated in the study. Ophthalmologic, orthoptic, vestibular and postural tests were done before and twice (2 and 8 weeks) after eye surgery. Postural stability was measured by a platform (TechnoConcept): two components of the optic flux were used for stimulation (contraction and expansion) and two conditions were tested eyes open and eyes closed. The surface area of the center of pressure (CoP), the variance of speed of the CoP and the frequency spectrum of the platform oscillations by fast Fourier transformation were analysed. Before surgery, similar to typically developing children, postural stability was better in the eyes open condition. The frequency analysis revealed that for the low frequency band more energy was spent in the antero-posterior direction compared to the medio-lateral one while the opposite occurred for the middle and the high frequency bands. After surgery, the eye deviation was reduced in all children and their postural stability also improved. However, the energy of the high frequency band in the medio-lateral direction increased significantly. These findings suggest that eye surgery influences somatosensory properties of extra-ocular muscles leading to improvement of postural control and that binocular visual perception could influence the whole body.
An evaluation of eye movements is very useful in neurological disorders but is complicated by issues such as maturation and lack of normative data in children. In order to address these issues we studied smooth pursuit eye movements of 65 normal children aged 7-11 years old. The gain of horizontal smooth pursuit (HSP) was higher than the gain of the vertical smooth pursuit (SP) and this difference had a statistical tendency to disappear with aging from 7 to 11 years. These data suggest that, in the cerebral regions involved in the control of SP, i.e. posterior parietal and superior temporal lobe regions, the networks for VSP mature latter than those for HSP.
The electro-oculographic (EOG) features of both horizontal and vertical eye movements in congenital oculomotor apraxia (COMA) were not previously reported. A girl referred to the ophthalmologic department for abnormal eye movements was diagnosed as COMA. The same abnormal ocular movements were observed in her younger sister and her father who was unaware of his difficulties to initiate voluntary saccades. When performed, EOG recordings of all horizontal and vertical saccadic eye movements were severely altered whatever the age of the patient. Pursuit was normal for these patients. It confirms that the control of saccadic eye movements is still altered in adults in both directions horizontal and vertical that were never reported. EOG is necessary to rule out inherited form of this saccade initiation failure.
Uveitis is the most severe complication of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The diagnosis may be delayed, as visual symptoms are usually absent, which provides time for insidious complications. The course is chronic and long-term treatment is therefore required.
Several studies have examined postural control in dyslexic children; however, their results were inconclusive. This study investigated the effect of a dual task on postural stability in dyslexic children. Eighteen dyslexic children (mean age 10.3±1.2 years) were compared with eighteen non-dyslexic children of similar age. Postural stability was recorded with a platform (TechnoConcept®) while the child, in separate sessions, made reflex horizontal and vertical saccades of 10° of amplitude, and read a text silently. We measured the surface and the mean speed of the center of pressure (CoP). Reading performance was assessed by counting the number of words read during postural measures. Both groups of children were more stable while performing saccades than while reading a text. Furthermore, dyslexic children were significantly more unstable than non-dyslexic children, especially during the reading task. Finally, the number of words read by dyslexic children was significantly lower than that of non-dyslexic children and, in contrast to the non-dyslexic children. In line with the U-shaped non-linear interaction model, we suggest that the attention consumed by the reading task could be responsible for the loss of postural control in both groups of children. The postural instability observed in dyslexic children supports the hypothesis that such children have a lack of integration of multiple sensorimotor inputs.
Studies comparing binocular eye movements during reading and visual search in dyslexic children are, at our knowledge, inexistent. In the present study we examined ocular motor characteristics in dyslexic children versus two groups of non dyslexic children with chronological/reading age-matched. Binocular eye movements were recorded by an infrared system (mobileEBT®, e(ye)BRAIN) in twelve dyslexic children (mean age 11 years old) and a group of chronological age-matched (N = 9) and reading age-matched (N = 10) non dyslexic children. Two visual tasks were used: text reading and visual search. Independently of the task, the ocular motor behavior in dyslexic children is similar to those reported in reading age-matched non dyslexic children: many and longer fixations as well as poor quality of binocular coordination during and after the saccades. In contrast, chronological age-matched non dyslexic children showed a small number of fixations and short duration of fixations in reading task with respect to visual search task; furthermore their saccades were well yoked in both tasks. The atypical eye movements patterns observed in dyslexic children suggest a deficiency in the visual attentional processing as well as an immaturity of the ocular motor saccade and vergence systems interaction.
We report two male sibs, born from unrelated French Caribbean parents, presenting with an unclassifiable storage disorder. Pregnancy and delivery were uneventful. Stunted growth was noted during the first year of life. Both children have short stature (below - 4SD) with short trunk, barrel chest, micromelia with rhizomelic shortening, severe kyphoscoliosis, pectus carinatum, short hands and feet with metatarsus adductus, and excessive joint laxity of the small joints. Learning difficulties with borderline intelligence quotient (IQ) were noted in one of them. They had no hepatomegaly, no splenomegaly, and no dysmorphism. Skeletal X-rays survey demonstrated generalized platyspondyly with tongue-like deformity of the anterior part of the vertebral bodies, hypoplasia of the odontoid process, generalized epiphyseal dysplasia and abnormally shaped metaphyses. The acetabular roofs had a trident aspect. Ophthalmologic and cardiac examinations were normal. Spine deformity required surgical correction in one of the patient at age 4 years. Lysosomal enzymes assays including N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfate sulfatase and ?-galactosidase were normal, excluding mucopolysaccharidoses type IV A and IV B (Morquio syndrome), respectively. Qualitative analysis found traces of dermatan and chondroitin-sulfates in urine, but quantitative glycosaminoglycan excretion fell within normal limits. They were no vacuolated lymphocytes. Abnormal coarse inclusions were present in eosinophils. Mild Alder anomaly was observed in polymorphonuclears. Granulations were discretely metachromatic with toluidine blue. Those morphological anomalies are in favor of a lysosomal storage disease. No inclusions were found in skin fibroblasts. We hypothesize that these two boys have a distinct autosomal recessive or X-linked lysosomal storage disorder of unknown origin that shares clinical and radiological features with Morquio disease.
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