Oculomotor apraxia Cogan type also called COMA is a very rare inherited eye condition characterized by a defect in side-to-side (horizontal) eye movements. When affected infants rotate their heads to the side to look at an object, their eyes will lag and then move in the opposite direction. To compensate for this, these infants will sharply jerk their heads past the desired object in effort to bring the eyes to a position where they can view the object. This condition can also be associated with mild developmental delay and speech difficulties. Symptoms usually improve throughout the first and second decades of life. The specific cause and inheritance pattern is unknown. Around 50 cases have been described in the medical literature.
- Reading difficulty
- Difficulty turning quickly
- Inability to move eyes horizontally
- Head jerking
- Absence of fast phase nystagmus on horizontal optokinetic testing
- Problems in nerve function involved in eye movement control, called neuropathy
- Inability to visually follow objects
- Head thrusts to compensate for the inability to accomplish voluntary horizontal gaze
Unfortunately, there is no cure for oculomotor apraxia Cogan type and treatment is focused on managing symptoms. Vision therapies may be helpful for some children with this condition. It is recommended that individuals with this disorder see the appropriate specialists necessary to help monitor their specific symptoms. Suggested specialists may include a nephrologist (kidney specialist), ophthalmologist (eye doctor), geneticist, and neurologist, as well as any others recommended by your doctor. Kidney failure usually develops in childhood or early adulthood, and management may require medications, dialysis, and/or kidney transplantation.