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Title: A molecular-genetic study of Congenital Nystagmus
Author: Self, Jay
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 2263
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2009
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Nystagmus is a disorder of eye movement characterised by irregular, uncontrolled and repetitive eye movements. It can occur in a broad spectrum of clinical situations and diseases or it may occur in isolation and an inherited disorder. Surprisingly little is known about the underlying mechanisms of ocular-motor control. Similarly, the pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning nystagmus is also poorly understood. By studying pedigrees in whom nystagmus seems to be inherited as an isolated trait (Congenital Idiopathic Nystagmus), it may be possible to identify some of the genetic causes of this disorder and subsequently understand the pathophysiology. This thesis describes a molecular genetic study of congenital nystagmus. A clinical phenotyping study is followed by linkage analysis and positional cloning. A novel nystagmus gene is investigated in a large cohort of Congenital Idiopathic Nystagmus (CIN) patients and X-inactivation studies are performed. Subsequently, cell culture and RT-PCR work is performed to study expression of this gene. Additionally a pedigree with an atypical congenital nystagmus disorder is investigated and a new mutation within a known cerebellar disease gene is identified. This work contributed to the identification of the first gene for Congenital Idiopathic Nystagmus (CIN). The first detailed temporal expression study of the FRMD7 nystagmus gene was also performed in this study which has directed further studies into the pathogenesis of CIN. Identification of a new mutation in the CACNA1A gene in a pedigree with nystagmus and subtle cerebellar signs has lead to the consideration of this gene in patients who present to hospital with isolated atypical nystagmus.
Supervisor: Lotery, Andrew ; Hodgkins, P. ; Collins, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RE Ophthalmology ; RB Pathology ; QH301 Biology