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Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome (O.M.S.) 

What is Opsoclonus Myoclonus ?

Opsoclonus myoclonus is a rare neurological disorder characterized by unsteady gait, intention tremor (rhythmic, involuntary motions of the limbs during voluntary movements), myoclonus (brief, shock-like muscle spasms), and opsoclonus (irregular, rapid, horizontal and vertical eye movements). Other symptoms may include dysphasia (difficulty speak), dysarthria (poorly articulated speech), mutism (inability to speak), hypotonia (decreased muscle tone), lethargy, irritability, or malaise (a vague feeling of bodily discomfort). Opsoclonus myoclonus may occur in association with tumors or viral infections.

Is there any treatment ?

Treatment for opsoclonus myoclonus may include corticosteroids or ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). In cases where there is a tumor present, treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation may be required.

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis for opsoclonus myoclonus varies depending on the symptoms and the presence and treatment of tumors. With treatment of the underlying cause of the disorder, there may be an improvement of symptoms. Spontaneous remissions (unexplained lack of disease activity) may also occur. Generally the disorder is not fatal.

What research is being done?

National Pediatric Myoclonus Center (NPMC)
The purpose of a national center for myoclonus is to provide the best care possible for patients whose myoclonus began during childhood. This care includes making the correct diagnosis, searching for all reversible (curable) causes, choosing the best drug treatments available, providing information about myoclonus, obtaining psychological and emotional support for the children and their families, and bringing them together with other similar families. We also wish to establish the scope of the problem and increase awareness among federal, private and pharmaceutical agencies. Patients with myoclonus otherwise have no advocate. They are often misdiagnosed, told there is no hope, feel isolated, and are in need of a concerted effort to better their situation.


The NINDS supports and conducts research on movement disorders such as opsoclonus myoclonus. Current research is attempting to clarify and expand the knowledge about movement disorders, and to find ways to prevent and treat these disorders.

OMS was first described by Dr. M. Kinsbourne in 1962.

Other names for OMS include:

  * Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS)
  * O.M.S
  * Opsoclonus Myoclonus Ataxia (OMA)
  * Kinsbourne syndrome
  * Myoclonic Encephalopathy of infants
  * Dancing Eyes-Dancing Feet syndrome
  * Dancing Eyes syndrome


Characteristics/Symptoms of O.M.S./OMS FACTS

  • After much reading and seeing OMS first hand, I believe the following facts/points to be general characteristics/symptoms of OMS

First signs of OMS

  • A. Throwing up

    B. little off-balance

    C.
    Looks like a drunkard

    D.
    Difficulty to walk, talk, crawl, or sit up

    E. Body tremors (shaking all over)

    F. Seizures

    G. Tumors (neuroblastoma) or Viral Infection

    H.
    Drooling and Strabismus (not symptoms at the onset they come roughly 5 months after onset if the child has had no medicine whatsoever)
    I can not at this point confirm point H as this OMS sign was submitted to me

    Half of OMS patients have no neuroblastoma. In those cases, doctors think the disease might be caused by a virus, a known cause of other brain abnormalities

Symptons after being diagnosed/treated for OMS
tumor or viral.  (OMS FACTS)

  • The following points were taking out of context from various emails, postings. I believe the following points to be all valid.

    1. " myoclonic jerking " (sleep)

    2.  " Rage attacks” (will have rages at times). Behavior that is aggressive and hyper.

    3. " Fine motor skills” (cannot cursive write)

    4. " Shy around people”

    5. " Speech”

    6. " Frustrated” (temper tantrums). Will scream Shut Up, your annoying me etc.

    7. " Relapse” the symptoms get worse and better and worse” ( A cold can trigger a relapse ).

    8. " Eyes constantly flash back and forth rapidly”

    9. " Weight loss” (eating, loss of appetite)

    10. " Depression”

    11. " Lower ability to fight infection”

    12. "immune system" A cold will trigger OMS symptoms.

    13.  OMS is NON FATAL

    14.  Treatment for opsoclonus myoclonus may include corticosteroids or ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). IVIG is considered one of the standards of treatment for OMS by neurologists who treat pediatric OMS — many neurologists don't even know of it because it is so rare.

    15.  There is no "cure" for OMS.  While there is no cure for OMS there are treatments that help and sometimes eliminate the symptoms

    16.  Brain damage is a common outcome in OMS patients, even in those who respond favorably to treatment and, in very rare cases, later show no signs of the disease.

    17.  Head Aches

    18.  Stomach Aches

    19.  OMS will become MORE apparent as your child becomes older.

  • In the long term, OMS can lead to serious behavioral problems and a dramatic loss in IQ points.

    "Worst case scenario is the IQ drops to between 40 and 80,". "These are previously normal children. It's very scary."

    I’m TIRED of trying to explain to Doctors, teachers that “ YES THAT IS OMS “ !

    I have been told by a specialist that the OMS will be more apparent as your child becomes older. ( I have recently come to the conclusion that this is unfortunately TRUE.)

    If you have any other points to add or disagree with my findings please follow the link below to write a follow up to this message

    Characteristics/Symptoms of O.M.S./OMS FACTS

    I am by no means a Doctor but do see and have read the same symptoms/characteristics over and over again.