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Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7299


MEZZALIRA, Raquel et al. Oculomotricity in childhood: is the normal range the same as in adults?. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2005, vol.71, n.5, pp.680-685. ISSN 0034-7299.

The study of oculomotricity is done by the evaluation of three systems: saccade eye movements (MOS), optokinetic nystagmus (NO) and smooth pursuit eye movement (MORL). The joint action of these three systems allows the visual field's establishment in different movement situations. AIM: To compare the value of oculomotricity in normal adults and children to confirm, or not if it is viable to use the same parameters of adults normality to children's exams interpretation. STUDY DESIGN: clinical with transversal cohort. MATERIAL AND METHOD: We studied MOS, NO and MORL in 50 normal children and in 35 adults and the results were compared by the t Student test. RESULTS: The data analysis showed significant difference between children and adults (significance at level ± = 0.05) DISCUSSION: In the literature we have found evidence that myelinization of the vestibular pathways happen at about 16 weeks and the pyramidal tracts, at 24 months. Oculomotricity is finished at this time. Other papers describe the importance of these tests in the diagnostic of neurological diseases, visual alterations and as predictors of the risk of schizophrenia development but they do not report the normal range in children. In our study we found increased latency of MOS, increase in gain of NO, reduction in gain and increase in the distortion of MORL in children if compared to adults, which is in accordance with the literature. These alterations can be explained by the low attention during the tests and the immaturity of ocular movements' control in children. CONCLUSION: Therefore, the establishment of a parameter of normality to the oculomotricity in childhood is necessary for the correct analysis of the oculography to avoid misinterpretation of the exam.

Keywords : oculomotricity; adults; childhood.

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