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The relationship between eye-winking tics, frequent eye-blinking and blepharospasm.
  1. J S Elston,
  2. F C Granje,
  3. A J Lees
  1. National Hospitals for Nervous Diseases, London, UK.


    A family is reported in which three generations were affected with eye-winking tics and/or blepharospasm. The proband developed eye-winking tics in childhood and then developed excessive blinking progressing to blepharospasm by the age of 21 years. His mother presented with Meige's syndrome and spasmodic torticollis at the age of 59 years; his uncle had blinked excessively from his early forties. His eldest son developed an eye-winking tic with facial grimacing at the age of 8 years, and in another son, a self-limiting period of eye-blinking occurred at the age of 4 years. The recovery cycle of the blink reflex was abnormal in all three generations. Three other children with eye-winking tics have a parent or close relative with frequent eye-blinking or blepharospasm. Five patients with adult-onset blepharospasm or Meige's syndrome are also described who had excessive eye-blinking dating back to childhood. It is suggested that eye-winking tics, frequent blinking and blepharospasm may share common pathophysiological mechanisms; the clinical expression may be age-related.

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