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November 1964

Ocular Bobbing

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Neurol. 1964;11(5):543-546. doi:10.1001/archneur.1964.00460230093008

In examining the unresponsive patient, ocular signs are of great importance and interest. In 19591 I referred briefly to a rather uncommon movement disorder of the eyes termed ocular bobbing which had been observed in patients with advanced pontine disease. In this paper a more detailed discussion of the condition will be undertaken along with a description of a few representative cases.

In a typical case the eyeballs intermittently dip briskly downwards through an arc of a few millimeters and then return to the primary position in a kind of bobbing action. The globes usually move synchronously. Neuropathological studies have usually disclosed an extensive pontine destruction, the result of either infarction or hemorrhage. The sign is of little diagnostic importance, for the site of the disease process is usually obvious from the other ocular abnormalities and the remainder of the examination. Nonetheless it deserves mention in the complete documentation of

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