Spasmus nutans

Definition of Spasmus nutans

Spasmus nutans is a disorder affecting infants and young children. It involves rapid, uncontrolled eye movements, head bobbing, and occasionally, abnormal positioning of the neck.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Most cases of spasmus nutans begin between age 4 months and 1 year. It usually goes away by itself in several months to years.

Signs and tests

A neurologic examination confirms the presence of the symptoms.

Treatment

The benign form of spasmus nutans requires no treatment. If the spasmus nutans is caused by another condition, that condition must be treated appropriately.

Expectations (prognosis)

Usually, this disorder goes away on its own without treatment.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/24/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.