Effect of 3,4-diaminopyridine on the postural control in patients with downbeat nystagmus.
ABSTRACT Downbeat nystagmus (DBN) is a common, usually persistent ocular motor sign in vestibulocerebellar midline lesions. Postural imbalance in DBN may increase on lateral gaze when downbeat nystagmus increases. 3,4-Diaminopyridine (3,4-DAP) has been shown to suppress the slow-phase velocity component of downbeat nystagmus and its gravity-dependent component with concomitant improvement of oscillopsia. Because the pharmacological effect is thought to be caused by improvement of the vestibulocerebellar Purkinje cell activity, the effect of 3,4-DAP on the postural control of patients with downbeat nystagmus syndrome was examined. Eye movements were recorded with the video-based Eyelink II system. Postural sway and pathway were assessed by posturography in lateral gaze in the light and on eye closure. Two out of four patients showed an improvement of the area of postural sway by 57% of control (baseline) on eye closure. In contrast, downbeat nystagmus in gaze straight ahead and on lateral gaze did not benefit in these two patients, implying a specific influence of 3,4-DAP on the vestibulocerebellar control of posture. It was concluded that 3,4-DAP may particularly influence the postural performance in patients with downbeat nystagmus.
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ABSTRACT: We review current pharmacological treatments for peripheral and central vestibular disorders, and ocular motor disorders that impair vision, especially pathological nystagmus. The prerequisites for successful pharmacotherapy of vertigo, dizziness, and abnormal eye movements are the "4 D's": correct diagnosis, correct drug, appropriate dosage, and sufficient duration. There are seven groups of drugs (the "7 A's") that can be used: antiemetics; anti-inflammatory, anti-Ménière's, and anti-migrainous medications; anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, and aminopyridines. A recovery from acute vestibular neuritis can be promoted by treatment with oral corticosteroids. Betahistine may reduce the frequency of attacks of Ménière's disease. The aminopyridines constitute a novel treatment approach for downbeat and upbeat nystagmus, as well as episodic ataxia type 2 (EA 2); these drugs may restore normal "pacemaker" activity to the Purkinje cells that govern vestibular and cerebellar nuclei. A limited number of trials indicate that baclofen improves periodic alternating nystagmus, and that gabapentin and memantine improve acquired pendular and infantile (congenital) nystagmus. Preliminary reports suggest suppression of square-wave saccadic intrusions by memantine, and ocular flutter by beta-blockers. Thus, although progress has been made in the treatment of vestibular neuritis, some forms of pathological nystagmus, and EA 2, controlled, masked trials are still needed to evaluate treatments for many vestibular and ocular motor disorders, including betahistine for Ménière's disease, oxcarbazepine for vestibular paroxysmia, or metoprolol for vestibular migraine.Journal of Neurology 04/2011; 258(7):1207-22. · 3.47 Impact Factor