Duane syndrome – causes

There have been reported cases in which the gene runs in the family for many generations, but this is rather rare. The gene that causes Duane syndrome seems to be located on chromosome 2. It was proven that in many situations, there is more than one gene that causes Duane syndrome, the others may be found on n chromosomes 4 and 8 and 22.

Duane syndrome was also discovered in monozygotic twins, and the most common type is DS type one. Though it i Duane syndrome may be a family heritage, the statistics show that only 10% of patients diagnosed with this condition have it because some family genes.

Studies have shown that besides anatomic problems the cause of the syndrome is more likely to be of an innervational nature. Problems in the brainstem are may also play a role in the apparition of Duane syndrome and also other illnesses like: crocodile tears, optokinetic nystagmus, vestibulo-ocular reflex. There were cases in when patients suffered from Duane syndrome without having any other problems, it appeard because of an accident or some or because of the removal of a dermolipoma.

In order to set the diagnosis of this syndrome, some tests are needed. The majority of Duane syndrome’s patients are diagnosed until the age of 10. Diagnose problems may appear and this condition must be separated from : congenital oculomotor apraxia, VI nerve palsy, congenital esotropia, or some orbital lesions after some kind of trauma.

Doctors use in order to identify the syndrome an EMG which is a technique that records the electrical activity of skeleton muscles. If an EMG is performed simultaneous recording both the medial and the lateral recti muscles it may show an unusual innervation of the lateral rectus muscle like the main cause of Duane syndrome. Doctors may also need to test the brainstem auditory evoked responses because here too abnormalities may be found.

The treatment of Duane syndrome may involve surgery depending of the type of the syndrome that each patient has. The outcome of the surgery is positive with more than 70% success rate.

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