Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS) is a rare movement disorder that refers to the association of opsoclonus, myoclonus and ataxia. All ages seem to be vulnerable to OMS from neonates, children, as well as adults. This disorder bears many names including dancing eye-dancing feet, Kinsbourne Syndrome, infantile polymyoclonia, and myoclonic encephalopathy in infants.
Myoclonus refers to sharp, involuntary muscle jerks that can be seen most normal functioning people. However, in abnormal cases, the jerks occur more frequently with an increased severity. The jerks hinder normal body movement and are sometimes strong enough to cause a person to fall. Myoclonus can involve one muscle or multiple muscles depending on the individual.
Opsoclonus refers to conjugate rapid eye movements that are predominately horizontal but can also have vertical and rotary aspects to them. This creates difficulties with vision making simple tasks even more difficult. Opsoclonus very rarely occurs by itself. It is most likely associated with myoclonus and/or ataxia.
OMS is difficult to diagnose. There are many symptoms and several other conditions that manifest along with OMS. Patients are basically limited to symptomatic treatments that are not effective in some cases. The etiology is virtually unknown and prognosis varies depending on factors such as age or the presence of cancer.
Very little is known about this rare neurological disorder. However, everyday that passes, we are learning more. Please use this website not only as a resource, but also as a way to increase awareness of OMS. In these modern times, research and treatment can be very expensive. The more people that know about OMS, the better chances of more people getting involved. The solution to OMS is in sight, and with your help, we can sprint to the finish!
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This page was last updated April 13, 2001.