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July 1962

Voluntary Nystagmus in a Family

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center.; Supported by Research Grant No. B-2211, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, Public Health Service.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1962;68(1):32-35. doi:10.1001/archopht.1962.00960030036007

Voluntary nystagmus is a rhythmic, rapid, to and fro movement of the eyes, brought on and maintained by conscious effort. The purpose of this paper is to report three siblings with this phenomenon. These patients are unique in that the familial occurrence of voluntary nystagmus has not yet been reported. Motion picture and electro-oculographic records demonstrated that the nystagmus could be produced without the help of fixation or visual stimuli. It was also shown that the nystagmus was symmetrical and of high frequency, that the frequency of the nystagmus was constant despite variations in amplitude, and that the duration of the nystagmus produced by a single voluntary effort was short.

Methods  The voluntary nystagmus of the 3 siblings was recorded photographically with a Bolex 16 mm. motion-picture camera, using a 25 mm. lens and a 50 mm. telephoto lens at film speeds of 16 and 64 frames per second. Electro-oculographic

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