Horizontal Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex Deficit as a Biomarker for Clinical Disease Onset, Severity, and Progression of Machado-Joseph Disease

Zohar Elyoseph, Dario Geisinger, Roy Zaltzman, Matti Mintz, Carlos R. Gordon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Because of the crucial importance of finding a useful biomarker for further clinical trials in Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), and based on our previous studies, we aimed to evaluate whether the horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain could be a reliable neurophysiological biomarker for the clinical onset, severity, and progression of the disease. Thirty-five MJD patients, 11 pre-symptomatic genetically confirmed MJD subjects, and 20 healthy controls underwent a detailed epidemiological and clinical neurological examination including the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA). Their VOR gain was measured using the video Head Impulse Test system. Twenty of the MJD patients were re-tested after a period of 1–3 years. Horizontal VOR gain was abnormal in 92% of MJD, 54% pre-symptomatic, and 0% healthy controls. Horizontal VOR gain in the MJD group was significantly negatively correlated with SARA score in the first (r=0.66, p<0.001) and second (r=0.61, p<0.001) examinations. There was also a significant negative correlation between the percentage of change in horizontal VOR gain and the percentage of change in SARA score across both examinations (r=−0.54, p < 0.05). A regression model of the SARA score with the horizontal VOR gain and disease duration as predictors demonstrated that both the horizontal VOR gain and the disease duration had an independent contribution to the prediction of the SARA score. The horizontal VOR gain seems to be a reliable biomarker for the clinical onset, severity, and progression of MJD and could be used in further clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCerebellum
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
CSO MOH
European-Latin America Consortium3-000-14307
Israeli Chief Scientist Office
Ministry of Health, State of Israel

    Keywords

    • Biomarker
    • Head impulse
    • Machado Joseph Disease
    • Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3
    • Vestibular

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