Opsoclonus myoclonus is a rare neurological disorder characterized by an unsteady, trembling gait, myoclonus (brief, shock-like muscle spasms), and opsoclonus (irregular, rapid eye movements). Other symptoms may include difficulty speaking, poorly articulated speech, or an inability to speak. A decrease in muscle tone, lethargy, irritability, and malaise (a vague feeling of bodily discomfort) may also be present. Opsoclonus myoclonus may occur in association with tumors or viral infections. It is often seen in children with tumors.
Treatment for opsoclonus myoclonus may include corticosteroids or ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). In cases where there is a tumor present, treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation may be required.
The prognosis for opsoclonus myoclonus varies depending on the symptoms and the presence and treatment of tumors. With treatment of the underlying cause of the disorder, there may be an improvement of symptoms. The symptoms sometimes recur without warning. Generally the disorder is not fatal.
The NINDS supports and conducts research on movement disorders such as opsoclonus myoclonus. These studies are aimed at increasing knowledge about these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.
Opsoclonus Myoclonus Support Network, Inc.
2116 Casa Linda Dr.
West Covina, CA 91791
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100; Voice Mail: 800-999-NORD (6673)
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
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Last Modified February 14, 2007