Emergency Department Presentation of a Rare Neurological Disorder

Scott A. Bier, David C. Hile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The treatment and disposition of patients with neurological disorders is commonplace in the emergency setting, but atypical and uncommon presentations can prove to be especially challenging. In this article we discuss the case of a 31-year-old woman who presented with a rare disorder known as opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome (OMS). OMS is characterized by involuntary, multidirectional movement of the eyes, myoclonus, and truncal ataxia. The etiology is thought to be autoimmune, and is most commonly associated with encephalitis or paraneoplastic syndrome. After an 8-day hospital course, which included several different treatment modalities including plasmapheresis, the patient was discharged after making a complete recovery. Unusual presentations such as the one described in this article illustrate the point that it is crucial to have a systematic approach that can be applied to identify and treat potentially life-threatening neurological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-455
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2010


  • dancing eyes-dancing feet syndrome
  • encephalitis
  • opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome
  • paraneoplastic syndrome
  • plasmapheresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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