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Topical brinzolamide (Azopt) versus placebo in the treatment of infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS)


Purpose To test the hypothesis that the topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitor brinzolamide (Azopt) has beneficial effects versus placebo on measures of nystagmus and visual acuity in adult subjects with infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS).

Design Prospective, cross-over, double masked clinical trial.

Methods Setting: Single centre. Study population: Five subjects ≥18 years old with typical INS and best-binocular visual acuity in their primary position null zone ETDRS 55 letters to 85 letters (20/200 to 20/50) and had no previous treatment for nystagmus. Intervention: In a randomised order, each subject received one drop of Azopt or placebo in both eyes three times a day separated by a washout period of at least a week followed by Azopt or placebo in both eyes three times a day; thus each subject got the drug and placebo, each acting as his or her own control. Outcome measures: The nystagmus acuity function and INS waveforms obtained from eye movement recordings, binocular optotype visual acuity, using the ETDRS protocol analysed individually and as a group before and after Azopt and placebo.

Results Versus placebo and baseline measures, topical Azopt significantly improved; INS waveform characteristics in the primary position null zone, group mean values of the nystagmus acuity function across gaze (p<0.01) and group mean ETDRS binocular letter visual acuity (p<0.05). There was a predictable decrease in intraocular pressure (IOP) without any systemic or ocular adverse events.

Conclusions Although a prospective large-scale clinical trial is needed to prove effectiveness, an eye-drop-based therapy for INS may emerge as a viable addition to optical, surgical, behavioural and systemic drug therapies for INS.

Trial registration number NCT01312402.

  • Treatment Medical
  • Muscles
  • Clinical Trial

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