Spasmus nutans

Delorme C, Gras D, Roze E. Spasmus nutans: more than meets the eye. Pediatr
Neurol. 2015 Oct;53(4):367-8.

“Spasmus nutans is a rare transient movement disorder of early childhood, defined by the clinical triad (1) nystagmus, (2) head nodding, and (3) torticollis, in the absence of any associated ophthalmological or neurological condition. [1] This condition might be difficult to recognize and is rarely reported in the literature.”

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Ehrt O. Infantile and acquired nystagmus in childhood. Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2012 Nov;16(6):567-72.

“Spasmus nutans is a rare benign but puzzling eye motility disorder that usually starts in the first year of live. It consists of high frequency, small amplitude, intermittent, horizontal pendular eye movements. It is often accompanied by head nodding, especially when the child is fixing objects. The head movements evoque the vestibular ocular reflex that may dampen the spasmus nutans and thus improve vision. Spasmus nutans always spontaneously disappears after 1–3 years.

Spasmus nutans can easily be differentiated from infantile nystagmus by the high frequency the eye movements. But because they are often dissociated, they cannot be separated from acquired nystagmus due to anterior optic pathway pathology and imaging is recommended.”

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Kiblinger GD, et al. Spasmus nutans-like nystagmus is often associated with underlying ocular, intracranial, or systemic abnormalities. J Neuroophthalmol. 2007 Jun;27(2):118-22.

There is uncertainty as to whether spasmus nutans (SN) is an isolated idiopathic entity or whether there are underlying conditions that could cause or be associated with the nystagmus. We undertook this study to determine the frequency of ocular, intracranial, and systemic conditions in patients with nystagmus having characteristics of SN.

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