Corneal and blink reflexes in Parkinson's disease with "on-off" fluctuations.

R. Agostino, A. Berardelli, G. Cruccu, F. Stocchi, M. Manfredi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 13 patients with Parkinson's disease and "on-off" fluctuations and in a control group, the electrically evoked blink (R1 and R2 component) and corneal reflexes (CR), the habituation of the glabellar reflex, and the blink rate were studied. Latency, amplitude, and recovery cycle of R1 was normal. CR latency, but not R2 latency, was significantly shorter in patients than in normal subjects. R2 recovery cycle, but not CR recovery cycle, was facilitated in "off" patients in comparison to normal subjects. CR and R2 duration was longer in "off" than in "on" patients. R2 recovery cycle became similar to that of normal subjects after fluctuation from "off" to "on" period, but CR recovery cycle varied only slightly. The habituation of the glabellar reflex and the blink rate were decreased in "off" patients. These findings indicate that the enhanced excitability of R2 is related to the central dopamine activity levels. The differences between the recovery cycles of CR and R2 may be explained with the smaller number of interneurons subserving CR than R2 circuit. The shorter latency of CR, but not of R2, both in "on" and "off" patients, may suggest that in Parkinson's disease basal ganglia exert a different control of incoming sensory input transmitted via beta and delta fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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