The Nystagmus Center

The Nystagmus Center offers a thorough clinical evaluation of the different types of nystagmus together with an objective wave form analysis to characterize the specific nature of the nystagmus. Treatment plan is offered tailored to each patient.

Infantile Nystagmus
Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome (INS), previously known as Congenital Nystagmus, is a disorder of the eye-vision-brain system. It usually begins in infancy and manifests as a rhythmic, involuntary movement (oscillation) of the eyes.

Infantile nystagmus can occur alone or can be associated with other diseases of the eyes or brain. In patients with INS, the oscillation remain the entire life.

In many patients, the amplitude of the nystagmus dampens if they look way to the right, left, up or down (called "null point"). Patients with "null point" may therefore adopt a constant head posture to improve their vision.

Eye Movement Recordings
Eye movements recordings plot the nystagmus wave forms and are essential for characterizing of different types of nystagmus. This test can objectively establish changes in the nystagmus before and after surgery.

At the Michaelson Institute, one of the newest eye tracker systems has become available. It consists of a high resolution video camera incorporated into a monitor. This examination is a non-contact system, and can effectively record eye movements of even very young children and does not necessitate sedation.

What Treatments Are Currently Available?
Treatments for the INS are all directly aimed at reducing the intensity of the eye oscillation, making the eyes move less and at improving vision.

Currently medical treatments aimed at reducing the abnormal eye movements, have limited success in selected patients.

Surgical manipulation of the extraocular eye muscles is routinely performed on patients with INS when accompanied by strabismus (crossed-eyes); an abnormal head posture and occasionally when the nystagmus and vision improve as the eyes converge.

Over 20 years of experience show that patients who had eye muscle surgery to correct an abnormal head posture, have also benefited from a decrease of the nystagmus and improvement of the visual function.

In order to achieve good post-operative results, it is mandatory to tailor the surgical approach to the type of nystagmus of each and every patient.