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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Apr 8;52(5):2306-13. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-5685.

Clinical and oculomotor characteristics of albinism compared to FRMD7 associated infantile nystagmus.

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  • 1Ophthalmology Group, University of Leicester, Faculty of Medicine & Biological Sciences, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, United Kingdom.



Previous studies have found no difference between nystagmus characteristics associated with idiopathic infantile nystagmus (IIN) and that associated with albinism. The present aim is to compare the oculomotor characteristics and other associated clinical features of albinism and a genetically homogenous group of IIN volunteers where the nystagmus is associated with FRMD7 mutations.


Oculomotor characteristics and related clinical features between albinism (n = 52) and idiopathic nystagmus associated with FRMD7 mutations (FRMD7-IIN, n = 83) were compared. The nystagmus characteristics compared included amplitude, frequency, intensity of nystagmus, foveation characteristics, and waveform type. Other clinical features compared were strabismus, stereopsis and anomalous head posture.


The FRMD7-IIN group contained a higher proportion of pendular waveform types compared with the albinism group (P < 0.0001). Nystagmus frequency was significantly lower in albinos (mean = 3.3 Hz, SD = 0.13 Hz) compared with the FRMD7-IIN group (mean = 4.3 Hz, SD = 0.18 Hz) (F = 14.5, P < 0.0001). Strabismus and anomalous head posture was seen in higher proportions in the albinism group, and stereopsis was worse compared with the FRMD7-IIN group (P ≪ 0.0001).


Differences in nystagmus characteristics associated with albinism and those associated with FRMD7 mutations leading to IIN are described for the first-time. These findings may provide useful information in the future elucidation of mechanisms underlying the nystagmus associated with albinism and idiopathic infantile nystagmus.

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