Primary oblique muscle overaction: The brain throws a wild pitch

Michael C Brodsky, Sean P. Donahue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Sensorimotor and orbital anatomical mechanisms have been invoked to explain primary oblique muscle overaction. Methods: Review of primitive visuo-vestibular reflexes and neuroanatomical pathways corresponding to vestibulo-ocular reflexes, and correlation with known clinical abnormalities in patients with primary oblique muscle overaction. Results: Bilateral superior oblique muscle overaction, which corresponds to a backward pitch in lateral-eyed animals, can occur when structural lesions involving the brainstem or cerebellum increase central otolithic input to the extraocular muscle subnuclei that modulate downward extraocular muscle tonus. Bilateral inferior oblique overaction, which corresponds to a forward pitch in lateral-eyed animals, may result from visual disinhibition of central vestibular pathways to the extraocular muscle subnuclei that modulate upward extraocular muscle tonus. Conclusions: Primary oblique muscle overaction recapitulates the torsional eye movements that occur in lateraleyed animals during body movements or directional luminance shifts in the pitch plane. These primitive Ocular motor reflexes become manifest in humans when early-onset strabismus or structural lesions within the posterior fossa alter central vestibular tone in the pitch plane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1307-1314
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Volume119
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Oculomotor Muscles
Muscles
Brain
Muscle Tonus
Reflex
Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex
Strabismus
Eye Movements
Cerebellum
Brain Stem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

Primary oblique muscle overaction : The brain throws a wild pitch. / Brodsky, Michael C; Donahue, Sean P.

In: Archives of Ophthalmology, Vol. 119, No. 9, 2001, p. 1307-1314.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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