Horizontal head titubation in infants with Joubert syndrome: A new finding

Andrea Poretti, Hans Jürgen Christen, Lindsay E. Elton, Manuela Baumgartner, Georg Christoph Korenke, Biayna Sukhudyan, Sven Hethey, Elizabeth Cross, Maja Steinlin, Eugen Boltshauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Aim: Head thrusts are well documented in Joubert syndrome and ocular motor apraxia. We provide a detailed clinical characterization of head titubation in 13 young children with Joubert syndrome. Method: Detailed characterization of head titubation was assessed by targeted clinical evaluation and/or analysis of videos. Results: In 12 of 13 children (eight males, five females; median age 6y, range 2mo-15y) head titubation was first recognized in the first 2 months of age and decreased in severity until spontaneous resolution. In all children, the head titubation was horizontal, high frequency (~3Hz), had small amplitude (5-10°), was never present during sleep, and did not interfere with the neurodevelopment during infancy. In the majority of children, emotion, anxiety, and tiredness were worsening factors for head titubation. Interpretation: Head titubation is a benign, early presentation of Joubert syndrome. Head titubation in hypotonic infants should prompt a careful search for Joubert syndrome. Awareness of its occurrence in Joubert syndrome may avoid unnecessary investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1020
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopmental medicine and child neurology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Horizontal head titubation in infants with Joubert syndrome: A new finding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this