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Stress and visual function in infantile nystagmus syndrome

Jones, Philip Hugh, Harris, C. M., Woodhouse, Joy Margaret, Margrain, Thomas Hengist, Ennis, Fergal and Erichsen, Jonathan Thor 2013. Stress and visual function in infantile nystagmus syndrome. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 54 (13) , pp. 7943-7951. 10.1167/iovs.13-12560

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Abstract

Purpose: Infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS) is an involuntary oscillation of the eyes that has been reported to impair vision and worsen under stress. This investigation aimed to measure visual function in terms of visual acuity (VA) and response time (RT), when INS subjects are placed under stress. Methods: Twenty-three subjects with INS and 20 control subjects performed a 2AFC staircase procedure identifying the gap in a Landolt C, under 4 experimental conditions: initial acclimatization (A), task demand (TD) during which subjects received a small electrical shock for every incorrect answer, anticipatory anxiety (AA) during which subjects received a small shock at random intervals, and relaxed (R). Arousal was monitored with galvanic skin conductance (SkC). In addition to VA and eye movements, RTs were recorded. Results: SkC was higher in the TD and AA periods and lower during A and R. Shock significantly increased nystagmus amplitude (p<0.01) and intensity (p<0.007) and reduced foveation periods (FPs) (p<0.022). In both groups, VA was not reduced but showed a slight improvement. However, shock increased RT (p<0.009), and INS subjects were slower than controls (p<0.0005). Conclusions: Increased arousal ('stress') provoked more intense nystagmus eye movements. As seen in other studies, stress did not reduce VA in spite of the shorter FPs. Although VA and FP can correlate across subjects, there would appear to little if any within a subject. However, RTs did increase with stress and shorter FPs, which may adversely impact on the visual performance of those with INS.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Additional Information: Confirmation received by publisher on 21 February 2014 that publisher's pdf can be self-archived 6 months after publication.
Publisher: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
ISSN: 0146-0404
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:41
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/52905

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Cited 6 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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