Are ocular motor abnormalities a new marker of neurodegeneration in patients with motor neuron disease?


  • As ocular motor abnormalities (OMAs) may be a marker of neurodegeneration in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), bedside assessment of OMAs can be used as a quick and highly specific tool to detect cognitive impairment in these patients.

Why this matters

  • ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder associated not only with upper (UMN) and lower motor neurons (LMN), but also with cognitive-behavioral changes and OMAs.

  • The OMAs seen in people with ALS are usually associated with changes in the frontal and prefrontal cortex and may, in addition to the UMN and LMN, be a potential marker of neurodegeneration.

  • The findings of this large cohort study add to the body of evidence for correlation between the OMAs and motor and cognitive-behavioral features of ALS.