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Association Between Leukoaraiosis and Saccadic Oscillation: Study Critique


“Association between Leukoaraiosis and Saccadic Oscillation” by Chun-Ching Wu, MD; Yi-Ho Young, MD (2007).

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Wu and Young (2007) use an audio-vestibular test battery to analyze patients diagnosed with leukoaraiosis to investigate what the relationship is between dizziness and vertigo and leukoaraiosis. The paper’s abstract is lengthy and raises several issues the paper is set to address. The introduction fails to address specifically what the paper is all about. The study was conducted on a group of 18 elderly patients divided into two groups. The difference between the two groups was whether one had been diagnosed with leukoaraiosis. The diagnosis was confirmed by an MRI scan. One group had been diagnosed with leukoaraiosis along with dizziness and vertigo. The next group bared the same conditions except with a leukoaraiosis. The abstract is written and presented in the correct format to break down what the article is all about.

The paper’s introduction starts by indicating where the research was conducted, on whom it was conducted and the period of the research. Wu and Young (2007), fail to draw the reader to the specific purpose of the research. The authors fail to draw the readers to any particular reason that drove them to this particular interest in medical research.

Wu and Young (2007), adapt the definition of leukoaraiosis as a diminution of density the white matter is related to cerebral ischemia. They identify a close relationship between the effects of ageing as well as various vascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. They argue that since high blood pressure is closely associated with white matter hyperintensity as well the brain atrophy, patients who have a higher systolic blood pressure have a high likelihood to develop leukoaraiosis. The objective of the study is to determine the correlation between leukoaraiosis, vertigo and dizziness in the elderly population.


The study begins with diagnostic testing on both groups. The group was chosen based on their age group and medical history of dizziness and vertigo with leukoaraiosis and another with dizziness and vertigo but without leukoaraiosis. The selection failed to consider other factors in selecting the group participants. The environmental factor and how it influences their lives. The psychosocial factor and the role it plays in the development of the condition. The researchers failed to indicate whether genetics plays a role in the development of leukoaraiosis.

A detailed medical history was taken from each patient plus their blood pressure. Thereafter each patient underwent a battery of tests, both physical and neurological examinations, audiometry, blood chemistry profile, electronystagmography (ENG) and also an MRI scan. The same test was carried out on the second group whose MRI scan failed to indicate the development of leukoaraiosis.

Patients with leukoaraiosis were treated with plasma expander as well as other medication and regularly follow up checks at the clinic every month. The research was conducted with the express permission of the relevant authority and the participant’s consent.

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In their research, Wu and Young (2007) find that other than ageing, systematic disease such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus or coronary artery disease is an added risk factor that would lead to the development of leukoaraiosis. This can be explained by understanding how the development of the above conditions affects the development of leukoaraiosis. This is because the white matter receives its supply through blood vessels that develop from a larger network. Circumstances such as chronic high blood pressure, as well as ageing cause the hardening of arteries that happens in the minute penetrating blood vessels in the cerebral white matter.

Wu and Young (2007) find that ageing, the reference, in this case, is 68 years, joined with a higher rate of conditions like high blood pressure indicate that leukoaraiosis is a result of ischemia. Some of the author’s conclusions include whether leukoaraiosis is a particular type of cerebral ischemia. The authors fail to address this question they have raised throughout the research. Failure to address concerns raised throughout the research paper leads to a conclusion by the reader that the research is indeed incomplete.

This research has shown that there is a relationship between leukoaraiosis and saccadic oscillations that is rapid eye movements in neurology. The electronystagmography (ENG) examinations showed the presence of the condition, leukoaraiosis. This was with a sensitivity of up to 72% and with a specificity of 78%.

The writers’ conclusion is long and filled with details. Wu and Young (2007) provide a lot of information that deviates from the research paper topic. Providing too many details to their readers destructs them from the main question the research sought to answer. The conclusion begins off by explaining conditions such as ischemic leukoaraiosis as well as presbyacusis among others. All this discussion is immaterial to the topic at hand and therefore very unnecessary.

The idea of the relationship between dizziness and vertigo with leukoaraiosis has been overemphasized throughout the text. This is mentioned on every page of the research paper and scrutiny of the same leads to a realization that the authors are circumventing the same point repeatedly. The authors need to shift base and also divulge other points within their research. Factors such as ageing and other vascular diseases have been emphasized in the research. Although this plays a key role in the development of leukoaraiosis Wu and Young (2007) fail to address the prevention of both factors. The paper merely identifies them but fails to draw the reader’s attention to the prevention of such conditions.

The procedures and tests undertaken in the research are presented in enough detail that allows the reader to duplicate them. The tests are conducted for ten and a half months, and the details of the procedures are tabulated to make them easy to comprehend. How the details are presented makes it easy to follow through and to account for each procedure.

The writers of these research papers have used a lot of medical terms that can be difficult for other non-medical professionals to understand. The definition of terms employed in the research needs to be broadened to accommodate more people on board.

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The writers assume that the results are guaranteed no matter the differences in the geographical location of the participants. Research conducted in Zambia in Africa cannot be consistent with one in Taiwan, Asia or Mexico in South America. Would the results be varied if conducted in a different place or consistent? Wu and Young (2007) work on this assumption and fail to address such concerns.


The research by Wu and Young (2007) examines the relationship between leukoaraiosis and saccadic oscillation. The research used an audiovestibular test battery to evaluate a leukoaraiosis diagnosis to examine the correlation between factors affecting the development of such diagnosis. The paper concludes by recommending the use of electronystagmography (ENG) for screening elderly patients with leukoaraiosis apart from using the MRI scan that has sensitivity and specificity that is certain.


Wu Chun-Ching MD, Young, Y.2007, Association Between Leukoaraiosis and Saccadic Oscillation. American Medical Association. Web.

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