VOC Research Update | Nystagmus

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Joost Felius, Ph.D.

Joost Felius, Ph.D.

Could a Naturally Occurring Fatty Acid Treat Nystagmus?

Joost Felius, Ph.D., Visual Disorders and Eye Movements Laboratory, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Dallas

• People with albinism typically suffer from nystagmus, which causes their eyes to constantly move back and forth. There is no cure for nystagmus, and currently available therapies lead to only moderate improvements.

• Dr. Felius and his team are measuring the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content in the blood of children with nystagmus. DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid naturally found in the human body, is known to have several benefits. Giving children DHA supplements has been shown to benefit both eye and brain development. Showing a correlation between DHA levels and the severity of nystagmus could lead to clinical trials on the therapeutic benefics of DHA supplementation.