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Opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome

Josep Dalmau, MD, PhD
Myrna R Rosenfeld, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Lisa M DeAngelis, MD, FAAN, FANA
Deputy Editor
April F Eichler, MD, MPH


Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS), also known as opsoclonus myoclonus ataxia, is a syndrome that includes opsoclonus along with diffuse or focal body myoclonus and truncal titubation with or without ataxia and other cerebellar signs.

Opsoclonus is a disorder of ocular motility characterized by spontaneous, arrhythmic, conjugate saccades occurring in all directions of gaze without a saccadic interval.

Myoclonus is a clinical sign that is characterized by brief, shock-like, involuntary movements caused by muscular contractions or inhibitions.

Patients with OMS are sometimes described as having dancing eyes and feet. Although OMA can be paraneoplastic in origin, it can also result from viral infections, post-streptococcal pharyngitis, metabolic disorders, metastases, and intracranial hemorrhage [1,2].

This topic discusses opsoclonus myoclonus ataxia. An overview of paraneoplastic syndromes and other paraneoplastic disorders are discussed separately. Other disorders causing myoclonus are also discussed separately. (See "Overview of paraneoplastic syndromes of the nervous system" and "Paraneoplastic syndromes affecting peripheral nerve and muscle" and "Paraneoplastic syndromes affecting the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia" and "Classification and evaluation of myoclonus" and "Symptomatic (secondary) myoclonus" and "Treatment of myoclonus".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 28, 2017.
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