Therapy for nystagmus

J Neuroophthalmol. 2010 Dec;30(4):361-71. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e3181e7518f.


Pathological forms of nystagmus and their visual consequences can be treated using pharmacological, optical, and surgical approaches. Acquired periodic alternating nystagmus improves following treatment with baclofen, and downbeat nystagmus may improve following treatment with aminopyridines. Gabapentin and memantine are helpful in reducing acquired pendular nystagmus due to multiple sclerosis. Ocular oscillations in oculopalatal tremor may also improve following treatment with memantine or gabapentin. The infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS) may have only a minor impact on vision if "foveation periods" are well developed, but symptomatic patients may benefit from treatment with gabapentin, memantine, or base-out prisms to induce convergence. Several surgical therapies are also reported to improve INS, but selection of the optimal treatment depends on careful evaluation of visual acuity and nystagmus intensity in various gaze positions. Electro-optical devices are a promising and novel approach for treating the visual consequences of acquired forms of nystagmus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Eye Movements / drug effects
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / etiology
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / physiopathology*
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / therapy*
  • Oculomotor Muscles / innervation
  • Oculomotor Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Oculomotor Muscles / surgery