Parinaud Syndrome

Medically reviewed by Ann Marie Griff, O.D. on November 20, 2017Written by Kristeen Cherney on November 20, 2017

What is Parinaud syndrome?

Parinaud syndrome is a condition that affects your eyes’ ability to move up and down. It’s also known as dorsal midbrain syndrome. Most cases are related to a problem with a part of your midbrain known as the tectal plate.

Several things can cause Parinaud syndrome. It’s important to work with your doctor to figure out the underlying cause.

What are the symptoms?

While the main symptom of Parinaud syndrome is not being able to look up or down, you may notice other eye problems as well. These include:

Depending on the underlying cause, you may notice other symptoms not related to your eyes, such as:

What causes it?

Anything that causes unusual swelling or pressure in your brain may cause Parinaud syndrome.

The most common causes include:

How is it diagnosed?

To diagnose Parinaud syndrome, your doctor will likely start by giving you a thorough eye exam to test your eyes’ movement abilities. Next, they’ll use either a CT scan or an MRI scan to get a better look at your brain.

They may also use a lumbar puncture, often called a spinal tap. This involves taking a sample of cerebrospinal fluid from your lower back and analyzing it. The results of your spinal tap will help your doctor rule out any other neurological causes.

How is it treated?

Treating Parinaud syndrome depends on the underlying cause. Many causes require brain surgery or medication. If you have an infection in your brain, you may also need antibiotics.

Living with Parinaud syndrome

Parinaud syndrome is a rare condition that’s still not fully understood by doctors. However, it’s usually related to a problem affecting the midbrain area, such as a tumor or infection. Tell your doctor about all of your symptoms, even if they don’t seem related to your eyes. This will help them narrow down any underlying causes.

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