Neurobites – February 5th – The Rate of Nystagmus


Welcome to Neurobites. Each week we feature a useful veterinary neurology tip for our referral community, created by one of our board-certified neurologists.





Watch Dr. Jessica Barker (BVNS Rockville) give a quick tip about finding the rate of nystagmus. A transcript of this video can be found below:



“Hi, my name is Jessica Barker and I’m a staff Neurologist with Bush Neurology.

We all know that the direction of nystagmus can help differentiate between peripheral and central vestibular disease. But did you know that the rate of nystagmus can also help differentiate between those two disease processes?

If you have a very fast vestibular rate, so the eyes are darting back and forth very, very quickly. It’s much more likely to be peripheral disease. And a slower rate of nystagmus is more commonly associated with central disease. The cutoff is around 60, 66, or higher for a peripheral disease. And if you have less than six 66 beats per minute when you’re looking at the nystagmus, it’s much more likely to be central disease.

One way to easily count this is to record it on your phone and then slow it down. Because I can tell you for a fact, trying to count a hundred beats per minute in the moment is very challenging. I hope this little trick works for you and I’ve given you something to chew on. Thanks.”

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