Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome is an extremely rare auto-immune disease. The most commonly known cause is Neuroblastoma Cancer. However, some cases are caused by viral encephalitis. Research is still needed to confirm the theories behind how and why OMS occurs. The most widely accepted theory is that the brain is an innocent bystander caught in the "cross-fire" between the body's immune system and the tumor or virus, which it is trying to destroy. T lymphocytes and antibodies produced by B cells get the message to attack the brain. The brain and the tumor must have similar properties, as the immune system cannot tell them apart. Brain regions like the cerebellum, brainstem and limbic system appear to bare the brunt of the onslaught. Opsoclonus is an unusual disorder of eye movement in which both eyes dart involuntarily. Myoclonus simply means brief muscle jerks and ataxia. During the peak of the illness, sitting or standing is difficult or impossible. Patients also have trouble speaking, eating, sleeping, exhibit drooling, rage attacks, head tilt or other abnormalities. Some children appear to be nervous, irritable or lethargic. Most children are less than two years old when diagnosed. It is, unfortunately, common for misdiagnosis and long delays in diagnosis due to the extreme lack of physician education and awareness of this rare disorder. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial for inducing a neurological remission. Sadly, relapses are very common and usually occur more than once. Some treatments can cause life altering or even fatal complications.
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Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome
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