Survey of management of acquired nystagmus in the United Kingdom
journal contributionposted on 2007-12-06, 14:27 authored by I. Choudhuri, N. Sarvananthan, Irene Gottlob
Purpose: To determine the current management of acquired nystagmus by ophthalmologists and neurologists. Methods: Questionnaires were sent to ophthalmologists (850) and neurologists (434) in the United Kingdom. Estimated numbers of patients seen with acquired nystagmus, treatment options used and the results of treatment of the patients were collected. Results: Response rate was 37% for ophthalmologists and 34% for neurologists. The most common causes of acquired nystagmus were estimated to be multiple sclerosis and stroke. 58% of ophthalmologists and 94.5% of neurologists reported seeing patients with nystagmus. The most common used medical treatment was gabapentin and baclofen. Other drugs used were clonazepam, carbamazepine, benzhexol, ondansetrone, buspirone, memantine and botulinum toxin (n=3). 11 ophthalmologists and 52 neurologists noted symptomatic improvement with medical treatment. 11 ophthalmologists and 44 neurologists noted improvement in visual acuity (VA). Occurrence of side effects noted with baclofen and gabapentin treatments were similar. Conclusion: A variety of drugs are used to treat acquired nystagmus in the UK. Baclofen and gabapentin are the drugs most commonly used and are reported to cause significant improvement in symptoms and VA. Better knowledge of the action of drugs in nystagmus is needed to establish guidelines and to give patients wider access to treatment.