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June 1955

Compulsive Eye Opening and Associated Phenomena

Author Affiliations

Mount Vernon, N. Y.

From the Department of Medicine (Neurology), New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, and the Neurology Section, Veterans Administration Hospital, Bronx, N. Y.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;73(6):597-601. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330120001001

During the course of examination of a patient who had recently sustained a cerebral thrombosis with resultant left hemiplegia, hemisensory defect, and hemianopsia, it was observed that the patient failed to keep his eyes closed despite repeated urging by the examiner. This failure to keep his eyes closed was at first interpreted as a refusal to cooperate in the examination, but it was subsequently realized that during the waking state the patient could not maintain his eyes closed; instead, there was an irresistible compulsion to reopen the eyes after they had been closed voluntarily. It was then found that there was a triad of signs related to facial and mouth movements. This consisted of inability to maintain the eyes closed, the mouth open, or the tongue protruded for periods up to 30 seconds, despite the adequate strength of the muscles participating in these movements.