Saccade performance has been reported to be altered in Parkinson’s disease (PD), however, with a large variability between studies as both motor and cognitive impairment interfere with oculomotor control. The aim of this study was to identify different patterns in saccade alterations in PD using a data-driven approach and to explore their relationship with cognitive phenotypes. Sixty-one participants with PD and 25 controls performed eye-tracking (horizontal and vertical prosaccades, antisaccades) and neuropsychological testing. Hierarchical cluster analysis was applied to the eye-tracking data to subsequently compare the clusters based on demographical, clinical and cognitive characteristics. The three identified clusters of saccade alterations differed in cognitive profiles from healthy controls, but not in PD-related motor symptoms or demographics. The rate of directive errors in the antisaccade task was increased in clusters 1 and 2. Further, cluster 1 was defined by a general disinhibition of reflexive saccades and executive dysfunction in the neuropsychological evaluation. In cluster 2, prolonged saccade latencies and hypometria were accompanied by multidomain cognitive impairment. The cluster 3 showed increased antisaccade latency and vertical hypometria despite lack of evidence for cognitive impairment. Our results suggest that there may be at least two opposing patterns of saccade alterations associated with cognitive impairment in PD, which may explain some of the contradictory results of previous studies.
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Neuropsychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The British Psychological Society.