Supranuclear ophthalmoplegiaProgressive supranuclear palsy - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Encephalitis - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Olivopontocerebellar atrophy - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Whipple disease - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Dementia - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia
Supranuclear ophthalmoplegia is a condition that affects the movement of the eyes.
This disorder occurs because the brain is sending and receiving faulty information through the nerves that control eye movement. The nerves themselves are healthy.
People who have this problem often have progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). This is a disorder that affects the way the brain controls movement.
Progressive supranuclear palsy
Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a movement disorder that occurs from damage to certain nerve cells in the brain.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Other disorders that have been associated with this condition include:
- Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
Encephalitis is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the brain, most often due to infections.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Disease that causes areas deep in the brain, just above the spinal cord, to shrink (olivopontocerebellar atrophy)
Multiple system atrophy - cerebellar subtype (MSA-C) is a rare disease that causes areas deep in the brain, just above the spinal cord, to shrink (at...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain, brain stem and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movemen...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Whipple disease (a condition that also causes malabsorption disorder of the small intestine as well as other symptoms)
Whipple disease is a rare condition that mainly affects the small intestine. This prevents the small intestine from allowing nutrients to pass into ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
People with supranuclear ophthalmoplegia are unable to move their eyes at will in all directions, especially looking upward.
Other symptoms may include:
Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects one or more brain functions such as memory, thinking, language, j...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Stiff and uncoordinated movements like those of Parkinson disease
Parkinson disease results from certain brain cells dying. These cells help control movement and coordination. The disease leads to shaking (tremors...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Disorders associated with supranuclear ophthalmoplegia
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask about the symptoms, focusing on the eyes and nervous system.
Tests will be done to check for diseases linked with supranuclear ophthalmoplegia. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might show shrinking of the brainstem.
Magnetic resonance imaging
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the body. It does not us...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Treatment depends on the cause and symptoms of the supranuclear ophthalmoplegia.
Outlook depends on the cause of the supranuclear ophthalmoplegia.
Rucker JC, Lavin PJM. Neuro-ophthalmology: ocular motor system. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 18.
Lavin PJM, Donahue SP, Longmuir RA. Disorders of supranuclear control of ocular motility. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 9.14.
Ling H. Clinical approach to progressive supranuclear palsy. J Mov Disord. 2016;9(1):3-13. PMID: 26828211; PMC4734991. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734991/.
Review Date: 5/2/2022
Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.