Jerk Nystagmus: Some New Findings

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Eye movements in a subject with jerk nystagmus were recorded during a variety of tracking tasks using a photoelectric method. New findings included ability to reduce nystagmus amplitude and frequency when instructed “to hold the eye steady” rather than “to fixate” in the presence of a visible target, changes in nystagmus characteristics and visual acuity as a function of head position which related to overall retinal-image motion, marked variability of nystagmus especially during reading, and necessity of a prolonged period of visual feedback for generation of nystagmus to approach a “steady-state” level. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed, including use of the “hold” command during ophthalmoscopy in patients with nystagmus.

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