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New Registry Offers Insight Into Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome



Ataxia is the most common symptom at disease onset in patients with opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS), a rare disease affecting only 1 in 5,000,000 individuals, mostly aged 1-5 years, based on data from a new patient registry.

In partnership with the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD) the nonprofit OMSLife Foundation has created a patient registry to better understand the disease experience in patients, wrote Mike Michaelis, chairman of OMSLife, and his colleagues. Early data from 275 enrolled patients were presented in a poster at the NORD Rare Summit, held by the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

The registry patients were mainly born in the United States (86%) and white (74%); approximately half were female. Of 150 patients who indicated symptoms at onset, 87% reported ataxia. Additional symptoms at onset were myoclonus (61%), opsoclonus (59%), tremors (46%), sleep disturbances (45%), temper tantrums (38%), vomiting (27%), fever (13%), headache (9%) and other symptoms (13%).

The researchers reviewed associations of symptoms at onset to determine the frequency of other symptoms for each individual symptom. Ataxia was present with 89% or higher instances of the other reported symptoms. Of note, some symptoms occurred more frequently than expected, such as temper tantrums and tremors in approximately 70% of patients with sleep disturbances. Myoclonus and opsoclonus, as well as fever and vomiting, also were significantly associated with the presence of other symptoms.

Two-thirds of the registry patients (69%) were diagnosed within 3 months of symptom onset, and 83% of these were diagnosed by a neurologist. Based on the Mitchell-Pike OMS severity scale, 59% of the patients met criteria for severe disease, 34% were classified as moderate, and 7% were mild. The registry is ongoing, but the current data provide insight on the clinical picture and common symptoms of OMS, the researchers said.

OMS Life was established in 2012 to support patients, caregivers, and researchers in raising awareness of opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome as well as funds for research.

The study was supported by the OMSLife Foundation, NORD, and Trio Health Analytics. The researchers are employed by these organizations.

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