Ocular microtremor: A structured review

Lisa Graham, Julia Das, Rodrigo Vitório, Claire McDonald, Richard Walker, Alan Godfrey, Rosie Morris, Samuel Stuart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Ocular microtremor (OMT) is the smallest of three involuntary fixational micro eye movements, which has led to it being under researched in comparison. The link between OMT and brain function generates a strong rationale for further study as there is potential for its use as a biomarker in populations with neurological injury and disease. This structured review focused on populations previously studied, instrumentation used for measurement, commonly reported OMT outcomes, and recommendations concerning protocol design and future studies. Current methods of quantifying OMT will be reviewed to analyze their efficacy and efficiency and guide potential development and understanding of novel techniques. Electronic databases were systematically searched and compared with predetermined inclusion criteria. 216 articles were identified in the search and screened by two reviewers. 16 articles were included for review. Findings showed that piezoelectric probe is the most common method of measuring OMT, with fewer studies involving non-invasive approaches, such as contact lenses and laser imaging. OMT frequency was seen to be reduced during general anesthesia at loss of consciousness and in neurologically impaired participants when compared to healthy adults. We identified the need for a non-invasive technique for measuring OMT and highlight its potential in clinical applications as an objective biomarker for neurological assessments. We highlight the need for further research on the clinical validation of OMT to establish its potential to identify or predict a meaningful clinical or functional state, specifically, regarding accuracy, precision, and reliability of OMT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2191-2203
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number9
Early online date26 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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