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November 1961

Congenital Ocular Motor Apraxia in Females

Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oregon Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1961;66(5):643-645. doi:10.1001/archopht.1961.00960010645007

Only 8 cases of congenital ocular motor apraxia have been reported. All have been described as occurring in males.' The distinguishing features of this syndrome include: (1) absent or defective voluntary horizontal eye movements with retention of normal random versions; (2) characteristic jerking movements of the head to break fixation; (3) absent or defective quick phase of the optokinetic response with; (4) controversion of eyes when the head is turned on the vertical axis; (5) reading difficulties.

Acquired forms of this syndrome were described as early as 1908 by Wilson, and in 1909 by Balint; however, recognition of the congenital variety dates back only to 1952, when Cogan reported 4 cases in males.2 There have been at least 10 acquired cases reported3 and 8 of the congenital variety.1,4 Cogan has knowledge of other unreported cases.5 Thus, the condition may not be rare, but only relatively unrecognized.