How do vision and eye movements develop in young children with nystagmus?

Research details

  • Type of funding: Fight for Sight / Nystagmus Network Small Grant Award
  • Grant Holder: Miss Maria Theodorou
  • Institute: Moorfields Eye Hospital
  • Region: London
  • Start date: August 2016
  • End Date: December 2017
  • Priority: Causes
  • Eye Category: Refractive error & ocular motility


Infantile nystagmus is the name for the condition in which uncontrolled side-to-side eye movements develop, typically within the first 6 months of life. The cause is often unknown.

Constant eye movement is linked to reduced vision. There have been clinical trials looking at treatments for nystagmus, but we don’t yet know the ideal time for treatment in terms of getting the best long-term outcome. Previous work suggests that this may be when treatment is offered as young as 2 years old, during the period when the visual system develops.

This study is looking at how vision and nystagmus eye movements develop in young children. The team is assessing 30 infants and young children on repeated visits using detailed recordings of eye movements. These assessments will be repeated up to 4 times at 4-month intervals to compare changes from one visit to the next.

Results from the study will allow eye doctors to explain more clearly what to expect in terms of delayed visual development. It should also provide evidence on the best times to offer treatments such as prescription lenses or surgery.