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

Dai Barr, Mark J. Kupersmith, Roger Turbin, Swaraj Bose, Richard Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

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 showed 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 a not uncommon presenting sign of MS, our results suggest it is rare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-704
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume247
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sixth nerve palsy

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