Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Eye movements in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and its mimics: a review with illustrative cases
  1. Colette Donaghy1,
  2. Matthew J Thurtell2,
  3. Erik P Pioro3,
  4. J Mark Gibson1,
  5. R John Leigh2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, UK
  2. 2Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and Daroff-Dell'Osso Laboratory, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  3. 3Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr C Donaghy, Department of Neurology, Ward 4E, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast BT12 6BA, UK; donaghy1a{at}


Abnormal eye movements are increasingly recognised in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and, when they occur, may provide insights into the pattern and pathogenesis of the disease process. In patients with disorders that mimic ALS, abnormal eye movements may point to the correct diagnosis. In both of these circumstances, systematic examination of eye movements and interpretation of the findings with reference to modern concepts of their neural substrate will aid diagnosis and suggest pathogenesis. Here, key points with illustrative case histories and eye movement records are highlighted.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • This paper is dedicated to the memory of Dr J Mark Gibson who died on the 27th September 2010.

  • Funding Supported by NIH grant EY06717, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Evenor Armington Fund (RJL). The funding sources had no role in the writing of this review.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.