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March 1969

Familial Periodic Nystagmus, Vertigo, and Ataxia

Author Affiliations

San Jose, Calif
From the Department of Neurology, San Jose Medical Clinic, San Jose, Calif, and the Stanford University College of Medicine.

Arch Neurol. 1969;20(3):276-280. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480090064010

A FAMILIAL disorder is described in which recurrent attacks of nystagmus, vertigo, and ataxia occur. The clinical picture differs from similar families previously described in that the onset is in early childhood and that the prognosis may be good (Table).

Twenty-three of 62 members (five generations) of a family have been found to be affected with a periodic nystagmus, vertigo, and ataxia with onset in early childhood. One individual developed permanent ataxia in later life, but two underwent abatement of all symptoms by 30 years of age. The remainder continue to experience attacks, often of decreased intensity, throughout adult life. The pattern of inheritance appears to be as a single autosomal dominant trait.

Report of Cases  Patient No. 15 (Figure) is a 31-year-old white man who from early childhood has suffered recurrent attacks of vertigo, nystagmus, and ataxia of varying degrees of severity and duration. On about six of every

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