Marcus Gunn phenomenon (a.k.a. Marcus Gunn Jaw-Winking or Trigemino-oculomotor Synkineses) is an autosomal-dominant condition with incomplete penetrance, in which nursing infants will have rhythmic upward jerking of their upper eyelid. This condition is characterized as a synkinesis: when two or more muscles that are independently innervated have either simultaneous or coordinated movements.
Common physiologic examples of synkineses occur during sucking, chewing, or conjugate eye movements. There are also several abnormal cranial nerve synkineses, both acquired and congenital. Marcus Gunn jaw-winking is an example of a pathologic congenital synkinesis.
First described by the ophthalmologist Marcus Gunn in 1883, this condition presents in approximately 5% of neonates with congenital ptosis. This condition has been associated with amblyopia (in 54% of cases), anisometropia (26%), and strabismus (56%).
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