Epileptic nystagmus in infancy

J Neurol Sci. 1997 Oct 3;151(1):111-4. doi: 10.1016/s0022-510x(97)00102-0.


Epileptic nystagmus (EN) is a rare form of nystagmus that occurs only during epileptic seizures. We report an infantile case in which EN was first noted at 10 days of age. Electronystagmography showed a right-beating nystagmus with predominantly linear slow phases that traversed the midline. Neuro-imaging revealed dysplasia of the left middle temporal gyrus extending posteriorly into the parieto-occipital cortex. The right hemisphere and subcortical structures appeared normal. Perfusion studies demonstrated interictal hypoperfusion with ictal hyperperfusion in the left temporal lobe. Electrocorticography demonstrated spiking over the left temporal-parieto-occipital region. Following extensive surgical resection of this area and weaning of anti-convulsants, the child has remained seizure-free without nystagmus. This case demonstrates the cortical origin of EN, and shows that infant cortex has functioning efferent connections to brainstem oculomotor centres from 10 days of age.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography
  • Electronystagmography
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / etiology*
  • Pursuit, Smooth