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Supranuclear disorders of gaze in children

Andrew G Lee, MD
Paul W Brazis, MD
Section Editors
Evelyn A Paysse, MD
Douglas R Nordli, Jr, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Abnormalities in eye movements can be caused by palsy of isolated ocular muscles, palsy of conjugate movements (gaze), or both. The supranuclear disorders of gaze in children are reviewed here. Palsy of isolated extraocular muscles is discussed separately. (See "Evaluation and management of strabismus in children" and "Third cranial nerve (oculomotor nerve) palsy in children" and "Fourth cranial nerve (trochlear nerve) palsy in children" and "Sixth cranial nerve (abducens nerve) palsy in children".)


The control of eye movement has three components:

The supranuclear pathway (from the cortex and other control centers in the brain to the ocular motor nuclei in the brainstem)

The ocular motor nuclei

The infranuclear pathway from the ocular motor nuclei to the peripheral nerve, neuromuscular junction, and extraocular muscles (table 1)

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 23, 2017.
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