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J Child Neurol. 1988 Jul;3(3):177-80.

Benign paroxysmal tonic upgaze of childhood.

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Department of Neurology, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Camperdown, Australia.


Four cases of an apparently benign ocular motor syndrome of childhood are reported. The features of the disorder are: (1) onset in early life; (2) periods of constant or variably sustained tonic conjugate upward deviation of the eyes; (3) down-beating saccades in attempted downgaze, which are difficult to sustain below the neutral positions; (4) apparently normal horizontal eye movements; (5) frequent relief by sleep; (6) otherwise normal neurological findings apart from mild ataxia, chronic in one boy and at times of illness in one of the other patients; (7) absence of deterioration during observation spanning up to 15 years; (8) eventual improvement but with some residual ocular movement problems in two cases; (9) normal metabolic, electroencephalographic, and neuroradiologic investigations; (10) normal brain examination findings in one patient who died accidentally; and (11) an apparently good response to levodopa therapy in one patient. To the authors' knowledge, this condition has not been described previously. It may be a new levodopa-responsive condition, secondary to a localized neurotransmitter deficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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