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Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Essay

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Below is an essay on "Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The subject is Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. This is an involuntary jerking or bouncing of the eyeball that occurs when there is a disturbance of the vestibular (inner ear) system or the oculomotor control of the eye. Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) refers to a lateral or horizontal jerking when the eye gazes to the side. In the driving context, alcohol consumption or consumption of certain other central nervous system depressants, inhalants or phencyclidine, makes it harder for the ability of the brain to correctly control eye muscles, therefore causing the jerk or bounce associated with HGN. If more achohol was consumedbecomes, the jerking or bouncing, the nystagmus, becomes more pronounced. This is assessed in the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
Nystagmus is a term used to describe a bouncing eye motion that is displayed in two ways, pendular nystagmus, where the eye oscillates equally in two directions, and, jerk nystagmus, where the eye moves slowly away from a fixation point and then is rapidly corrected through a fast movement. HGN is a type of jerk nystagmus with the fast movement toward the direction of the gaze. An eye normally moves smoothly like a marble rolling over a glass plane, but an eye with jerk nystagmus moves like a marble rolling across sandpaper. Most types of nystagmus, including HGN, are involuntary motions, meaning the person with the nystagmus cant control it. In fact, the subject with the nystagmus is unaware that it is happening because the bouncing of the eye does not affect the subject's vision.
There are several types of nystagmus. Alcohol causes two types: alcohol gaze nystagmus, which includes HGN, and positional alcohol nystagmus. Although alcohol causes both, alcohol gaze nystagmus and positional alcohol nystagmus are very different and easily distinguishable. Testing for positional alcohol nystagmus is not a part of the standardized field sobriety test battery. Defendants sometimes claim or attempt to confuse matters by...

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