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Journal of Neurology

, Volume 247, Issue 9, pp 701–704 | Cite as

Isolated sixth nerve palsy: an uncommon presenting sign of multiple sclerosis

  • Dai Barr
  • Mark J. Kupersmith
  • Roger Turbin
  • Swaraj Bose
  • Richard Roth
Original communication

Abstract

We describe three patients in whom an isolated sixth nerve palsy was the only clinical symptom or sign of multiple sclerosis (MS). Data were collected prospectively over 6 years on these three patients, who showe no other signs of brainstem dysfunction or prior symptoms; in addition. Retrospective analysis of all patients with MS and all patients with sixth nerve palsy referred to a neuro-ophthalmology service between 1982 and 1998 showed isolated sixth nerve palsy to be the presenting sign of MS in only 0.5% of these patients. MS was the cause of isolated sixth nerve palsy in 0.8% of all patients and in 1.6% of those aged 18–50 years. Although it has been previously suggested that sixth nerve palsy is an ot uncommon presenting sign of MS, our results suggest it is rare.

Key words Sixth nerve palsy Multiple sclerosis 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dai Barr
    • 1
  • Mark J. Kupersmith
    • 2
  • Roger Turbin
    • 2
  • Swaraj Bose
    • 2
  • Richard Roth
    • 2
  1. 1.Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology, Glasgow, UKGB
  2. 2.Neuro-ophthalmology, Beth Israel Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery, 170 East End Ave., New York, NY 10128, USA, e-mail: mkuper@bethisraelny.org, Tel.: 1-2 12-8 70 94 18, Fax: 1-2 12-8 70 72 82US

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