Effectiveness of botulinum toxin administered to abolish acquired nystagmus

R. John Leigh, Robert L. Tomsak, Michael P. Grant, Bernd F. Remler, Stacy S. Yaniglos, Lisa Lystad, Louis F. Dell'Osso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We injected botulinum toxin into the horizontal rectus muscles of the right eyes of 2 patients who had acquired pendular nystagmus with horizontal, vertical, and torsional components. This treatment successfully abolished the horizontal component of the nystagmus in the injected eye in both patients for approximately 2 months. Both patients showed a small but measurable improvement of vision in the injected eye that may have been limited by coexistent disease of the visual pathways. The vertical and torsional components of the nystagmus persisted in both patients. In 1 patient, the horizontal component of nystagmus in the noninjected eye increased; we ascribe this finding to plastic‐adaptive changes in response to paresis caused by the botulinum toxin. Such plastic‐adaptive changes and direct side effects of the injections—such as diplopia and ptosis—may limit the effectiveness of botulinum toxin in the treatment of acquired nystagmus. Neither patient elected to repeat the botulinum treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-642
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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