THE TITLE is somewhat ambiguous; for this discussion to be as complete as is practical would have to include all forms of nystagmus.
From the standpoint of etiology three types of nystagmus are to be considered: an ocular, a central, or nonlabyrinthine, and a peripheral, or labyrinthine. Each is a separate entity, indicative of circumstances quite different one from the others, but all, in the final analysis, remarkably interdependent.
The ocular type is either spontaneous or induced. Central, nonlabyrinthine nystagmus is diagnostic, as well as symptomatic. The last of these three types, the peripheral, or labyrinthine, also is either induced or spontaneous, and these two forms, while related, have dissimilar diagnostic significance.
Ocular nystagmus, in certain circumstances, has some localizing value. This is especially so in that ocular nystagmus has little, if any, relation to the vestibular nerves or nuclei or to any portion of the cortex. The
SPAETH EB. NYSTAGMUSIts Diagnostic Significance. Arch Ophthalmol. 1950;44(4):549-560. doi:10.1001/archopht.1950.00910020559007