Effectiveness of botulinum toxin administered to abolish acquired nystagmus

Ann Neurol. 1992 Nov;32(5):633-42. doi: 10.1002/ana.410320506.


We injected botulinum toxin into the horizontal rectus muscles of the right eyes of 2 patients who had acquired pendular nystagmus with horizontal, vertical, and torsional components. This treatment successfully abolished the horizontal component of the nystagmus in the injected eye in both patients for approximately 2 months. Both patients showed a small but measurable improvement of vision in the injected eye that may have been limited by coexistent disease of the visual pathways. The vertical and torsional components of the nystagmus persisted in both patients. In 1 patient, the horizontal component of nystagmus in the noninjected eye increased; we ascribe this finding to plastic-adaptive changes in response to paresis caused by the botulinum toxin. Such plastic-adaptive changes and direct side effects of the injections--such as diplopia and ptosis--may limit the effectiveness of botulinum toxin in the treatment of acquired nystagmus. Neither patient elected to repeat the botulinum treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Botulinum Toxins / administration & dosage*
  • Eye Movements / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / diagnosis
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Saccades / drug effects


  • Botulinum Toxins