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N. Sarvananthan, J.R. Thompson, S. Jain, F.A. Proudlock, G.H. Woodruff, I. Gottlob; The Leicestershire Nystagmus Survey . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):2742.
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Purpose: The prevalence of nystagmus is unknown. An epidemiological study to establish the prevalence of nystagmus was set up in Leicestershire (population 930,000) Methods: Hospital doctors of all specialities, optometrists, health visitors, community paediatricians, general practitioners, teachers for the visually impaired, staff at local services for visually impaired people (VISTA) were informed by letter and posters regarding our project. The local newspapers, radio networks and talking newspapers publicised the study. Patients completed a brief questionnaire about their nystagmus and were invited for an eye test. A detailed ophthalmological assessment, video and eye movement recordings (infrared eye tracking or electrooculogram) were carried out on each patient. Results: 174 people have completed the questionnaire to date. There are 95 females and 79 males on our database. 109 patients were referred by ophthalmologists within the eye unit, 14 by general practitioners, 11 by optometrists, 13 from VISTA, 7 from media sources, 4 by family members and 6 from other sources. 39 people were registered blind or partially sighted. 108 people have attended for an ophthalmological assessment and eye movement recordings to date. The clinical conditions found were idiopathic nystagmus in 18 people, 15 with albinism, 8 with latent or manifest/latent nystagmus, 23 with sensory nystagmus and 44 with neurological conditions. Currently we are recruiting an average of three new patients per week. Conclusions: The nystagmus survey provides information useful for health and education planning and a model for epidemiological studies in eye conditions. The preliminary data suggest a prevalence rate greater than 0.2 per 1000 population.
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