Idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) patients have abnormal visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and pattern electroretinograms (PERGs), attributed to dopaminergic transmission deficiency in visual pathway, probably the retina. VEP abnormalities are not reported in multiple system atrophy (MSA). The aim of this study was to investigate and compare chromatic (Ch) red-green (R-G) and blue-yellow (B-Y), and luminance yellow-black (Y-Bk) PERGs in patients with MSA and IPD. We investigated 6 MSA patients (mean age: 62±7.4 years) not undergoing any pharmacological treatment, as well as 12 early IPD patients (mean age: 60.1±8.3 years) and 12 age-matched normal observers. ChPERGs were recorded monocularly in response to full-field equiluminant R-G, B-Y and Y-Bk horizontal gratings. In MSA only responses to R-G stimuli showed minimal insignificant changes (slight but not significant amplitude reduction without any significant latency delay); no significant abnormality was detected for B-Y and luminance Y-Bk stimuli. By contrast, in IPD all responses were reduced in amplitude and delayed in latency, above all for B-Y stimuli. Present data indicate that both chromatic and achromatic PERGs are virtually unaffected in MSA, whereas in early IPD they are clearly impaired, suggesting different pathogenic retinal mechanisms and a useful simple tool for distinguishing MSA from IPD.
- Chromatic contrast
- Idiopathic Parkinson's disease
- Multiple system atrophy
- Parkinson and movement disorders
- Visual pathways subsystem
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology