Bilateral cranial nerve 6 palsy in a patient with multiple sclerosis and vitamin D-dependent rickets

Aishwarya Sriram, Devon Joiner, Kevin Hsu, Cheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of multiple sclerosis (MS) is multifactorial. Elevated levels of vitamin D may lower the risk and reduce relapses by immunomodulatory mechanisms. Conversely, vitamin D-dependent rickets (VDDR), an inheritable form of rickets secondary to impairment in vitamin D synthesis or action, may increase MS risk. This has been described in three patients with VDDR type 1A. Here, we present a patient with VDDR type 2–unclear if type 2A or 2B based on historical genetic testing–who subsequently developed MS. She presented with 8 weeks of binocular horizontal diplopia and was found to have 8 prism dioptres of esotropia in primary gaze and a mild limitation of abduction in both eyes. Radiological workup was consistent with MS demyelination. She was started on solumedrol infusions, with full resolution of the esotropia and abduction deficits. She has since been transitioned to ocrelizumab with vitamin D supplementation and has not had a relapse to date. It is important to consider MS in patients genetically predisposed to low vitamin D levels or functional impairment, as with VDDR. Vitamin D supplementation can achieve remission in some forms of VDDR, and its role in MS prevention in these patients should be considered. In patients with type 2A or 2B VDDR, who have impairment in receptor function, additional treatment modalities require investigation. Lastly, demyelination is a rare cause of bilateral cranial nerve 6 palsy. This case illustrates the importance of considering MS in cranial nerve palsies, particularly in patients with vitamin D deficiencies or functional impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-428
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022


  • Vitamin D-dependent rickets
  • bilateral CN 6 palsy
  • multiple sclerosis
  • vitamin D deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Bilateral cranial nerve 6 palsy in a patient with multiple sclerosis and vitamin D-dependent rickets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this