Cause of congenital nystagmus found!

  • Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience researchers have overturned the long held view that congenital nystagmus, a condition where eyes make repetitive involuntary movements, is a brain disorder by showing that its cause is actually retinal. Deficits in just a few proteins involved in one of the retina's earliest light-signal processing steps result in the eye sending an erroneous movement signal to the brain rhythmically. Each time the brain receives a movement "pulse" it initiates an eye movement to compensate for the motion signaled. In this way, mutations in just a handful of proteins at the very first steps of vision lead to the oscillating side to side eye movements that characterize many forms of congenital nystagmus. The study appears in PLOS Biology on 12 September

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