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Optokinetic nystagmus: six practical uses
  1. David Edward Hale1,
  2. Stephen Reich2,
  3. Dan Gold1,3,4,5,6,7
  1. 1Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  4. 4Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  5. 5Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  6. 6Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  7. 7Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Edward Hale, Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; dhale12{at}jh.edu

Abstract

Optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) is a reflexive eye movement in response to movement of the viewer’s visual environment that consists of a slow phase eye movement in the direction of the stimulus followed by a quick phase in the opposite direction. When tested at the bedside, the slow phases represent smooth pursuit, while the quick phases represent saccades. Normally, OKN is conjugate and symmetric (horizontally and vertically). Abnormalities in the optokinetic response can provide diagnostic and localising value. We describe six clinical scenarios where OKN testing is most useful for the practising neurologist.

  • NEUROOTOLOGY
  • EYE MOVEMENTS
  • MOVEMENT DISORDERS
  • NEUROOPHTHALMOLOGY

Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

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Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors DEH prepared the first draft of the manuscript and edited it. SR and DG revised and edited subsequent manuscript drafts.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Michael Halmagyi, Sydney, Australia, and Zhaleh Khaleeli, London, UK.

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