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December 1991

Dissociated Vertical Nystagmus and Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia From a Midbrain Infarction

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Marshall, Sacco, and Mohr) and Ophthalmology (Drs Kreuger and Odel), Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY.

Arch Neurol. 1991;48(12):1304-1305. doi:10.1001/archneur.1991.00530240110032

• We describe a patient with a dissociated vertical nystagmus and an internuclear ophthalmoplegia. The vertical nystagmus consisted of a left downward nystagmus with a synchronous right intorting nystagmus when the patient looked down and to the left. This rare type of nystagmus has been described both in isolation and in association with an internuclear ophthalmoplegia. Previous authors postulated a lesion in the midbrain in the region of the medial longitudinal fasciculus. In our patient, a discrete midbrain infarction was demonstrated on magnetic resonance imaging in the hypothesized location, thus providing supportive anatomical evidence for a vertical gaze coordination pathway in the region of the medial longitudinal fasciculus.

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