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Abstract Details

Palato-ocular synchrony: Seeing what is behind closed eyelids in palatal tremor
Movement Disorders
P5 - Poster Session 5 (11:45 AM-12:45 PM)
5-010

Palatal tremor due to a lesion of the dentato-rubro-olivary pathway (Guillain-Mollaret triangle) may spread to contiguous or remote muscles. When it involves the eyes it is known as oculopalatal tremor (OPT) manifesting as pendular nystagmus, typically vertical and/or torsional, causing oscillopsia. Nystagmus may be minimal or absent with eyes open and appear only under closed eyelids, a phenomenon described in 1976 by Jacobs and Bender, and called palato-ocular synchrony (Arch Neurol;33:289) . These authors observed that palato-ocular synchrony was caused by eyelid closure rather than simply the removal of vision.

To call attention to palato-ocular synchrony, a little-known manifestation of palatal tremor.

Two illustrative video case reports.  

 

Following brainstem hemorrhage (patient 1 – midbrain; patient 2 – pons) involving the Guillain-Mollaret triangle, two patients developed hypertrophic olivary degeneration and asymptomatic palatal tremor. In patient 1, there was no nystagmus with eyes open, but under closed eyelids, vertical oscillations were readily apparent. In patient 2, there was very subtle torsional pendular nystagmus without oscillopsia, but large vertical oscillations were apparent with eyelid closure that were synchronous with PT. The mechanism of palato-ocular synchrony is unknown but may be related to the observation that palatal tremor, due to a lesion of the Guillain-Mollaret triangle, is one of the few movement disorders that persist during sleep, and this may simply reflect eyelid closure.

 A lesion, typically stroke, involving the Guillain-Mollaret triangle often leads to delayed development of palatal tremor. Such patients should undergo a careful ocular motor examination looking for oculopalatal tremor; if absent, then the globes should be observed during active eye closure. A visible or palpable ocular oscillation under closed eyelids is known as palato-ocular synchrony, an underappreciated phenomenon that extends the spectrum of manifestations of palatal tremor. 

Authors/Disclosures
Stephen G. Reich, MD, FAAN (Univ of MD Hospital/Dept of Neuro)
PRESENTER
Dr. Reich has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Best Doctors. Dr. Reich has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for UpToDate. Dr. Reich has received personal compensation in the range of $0-$499 for serving on a Scientific Advisory or Data Safety Monitoring board for NIH. Dr. Reich has received personal compensation in the range of $10,000-$49,999 for serving as an Expert Witness for Various law firms. The institution of Dr. Reich has received research support from ninds. Dr. Reich has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care. Dr. Reich has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care.
Daniel R. Gold, DO (Johns Hopkins ) Dr. Gold has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as an Editor, Associate Editor, or Editorial Advisory Board Member for Springer . Dr. Gold has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care.