Navigate Up

Full Library - A-Z Index


Print This Page

Supranuclear ophthalmoplegia

Supranuclear ophthalmoplegia is a condition that affects the movement of the eyes.

Causes

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 may have progressive supranuclear palsy . This is a disorder that affects the way the brain controls movement. A brain injury (such as stroke ) also can cause supranuclear ophthalmoplegia.

Symptoms

People with this condition are unable to voluntarily move their eyes in all directions, especially looking upward.

Exams and Tests

An exam of the nervous system (neurological examination) may show:

  • Limited eye movements, especially vertical movements
  • Mild dementia
  • Normal vision, hearing, sensation, and voluntary control of other movements
  • Stiff and uncoordinated movements like those of Parkinson disease

The health care provider may do tests to rule out other diseases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might show shrinking of the brainstem.

Treatment

The treatment depends on the cause of the supranuclear ophthalmoplegia.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outlook depends on the cause of the supranuclear ophthalmoplegia.

References

Lavin PJM. Neuro-ophthalmology: ocular motor system. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 35.

Updated: 5/28/2014

Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com