Condition 101 About Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia

What is the definition of Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia?

Supranuclear ophthalmoplegia is a condition that affects the movement of the eyes.

What are the alternative names for Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia?

Progressive supranuclear palsy - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Encephalitis - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Olivopontocerebellar atrophy - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Whipple disease - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia; Dementia - supranuclear ophthalmoplegia

What are the causes for Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia?

This disorder occurs because the brain is sending and receiving faulty information through the nerves that control eye movement. The nerves themselves are healthy.

People who have this problem often have progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). This is a disorder that affects the way the brain controls movement.

Other disorders that have been associated with this condition include:

  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Disease that causes areas deep in the brain, just above the spinal cord, to shrink (olivopontocerebellar atrophy)
  • Disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
  • Malabsorption disorder of the small intestine (Whipple disease)

What are the symptoms for Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia?

People with supranuclear ophthalmoplegia are unable to move their eyes at will in all directions, especially looking upward.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Mild dementia
  • Stiff and uncoordinated movements like those of Parkinson disease
  • Disorders associated with supranuclear ophthalmoplegia

What are the current treatments for Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia?

Treatment depends on the cause and symptoms of the supranuclear ophthalmoplegia.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia?

Outlook depends on the cause of the supranuclear ophthalmoplegia.


Lavin PJM. Neuro-ophthalmology: ocular motor system. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 44.

Ling H. Clinical approach to progressive supranuclear palsy. J Mov Disord. 2016;9(1):3-13. PMID: 26828211

Latest Advances On Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia

  • Condition: Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
  • Journal: Psychiatrike = Psychiatriki
  • Treatment Used: Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
  • Number of Patients: 8
  • Published —
This study tested the safety and efficacy of using an anodal transcranial direct current stimulation to treat patients with progressive supranuclear palsy.
  • Condition: Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC)
  • Journal: Orphanet journal of rare diseases
  • Treatment Used: Hydroxypropyl-Beta Cyclodextrin (HP?PD)
  • Number of Patients: 12
  • Published —
In this study, researchers evaluated the safety and effectiveness of using IV hydroxypropyl-beta cyclodextrin (HP?PD) to treat Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC).

Clinical Trials For Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia