We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome?

Dan Harkins
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The rare neurological disorder called opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the brain, often after a viral infection. Also known as "dancing eyes/dancing feet" or Kinsbourne syndrome, this disorder can affect patients of any age, first manifesting itself in twitching eyes and muscles. Eventually, standing or walking becomes labored, as does speaking, eating or thinking clearly.

The opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome is marked by four separate conditions, which can appear almost instantaneously. Opsoclonus refers to uncontrollable twitches of the eyes, causing a dancing effect. Myoclonus pertains to muscular spasms that come and go, affecting the entire body. Also common for sufferers of this syndrome is ataxia, an overall lack of muscular coordination that hinders most common movements, from walking to eating. Finally, encephalopathy hinders the brain from thinking clearly. All combine to create a patient who cannot control movement, is lethargic, and often full of rage.

According to the National Pediatric Myoclonus Center, opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome often follows after the body has been fighting a tumorous growth or infected with various viral infections. Tumors are found in about half of patients suffering from it, and viral infections were recently treated in many of the rest. Though in 2011 the exact cause of this disorder is unknown, many researchers believe that antibodies produced by the body's immune system may inadvertently attack brain cells in an effort to rid the body of an invading tumor or virus.

Doctors who treat opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome first attempt to determine if a tumor is present by ordering a series of radiological tests. If a tumor is found, they will attempt to remove it. This often eradicates the syndrome in childeren, since the body no longer senses an invading presence. For adults, however, the condition is more likely to continue even after a tumor is removed.

Regardless of whether a tumor is found, doctors regularly prescribe a regimen of adrenocorticotrophic hormone shots to treat opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome. In a series of injections over 20 days, this hormone causes the body's adrenal gland to produce more cortisol, which results in an 80 percent to 90 percent recovery rate for children, with less recovery percentage for adults.

Other drugs could be prescribed to push this syndrome into remission. Intravenous immunoglobulins are human antibodies that can boost the body's immune response. Chemotheraphy and steroid therapy also are commonly advised. Though most patients recover, many are susceptible to a recurrence when the body experiences a new illness.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his journalism degree, he spent more than two decades honing his craft as a writer and editor for various publications. Dan’s debut novel showcases his storytelling skills and unique perspective by drawing readers into the story’s captivating narrative.
Discussion Comments
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.