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Marcus Gunn phenomenon

Other Names for this Disease
  • Familial Marcus Gunn phenomenon (subtype)
  • Jaw-winking
  • Marcus Gunn syndrome
  • Maxillopalpebral synkinesis
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Marcus Gunn phenomenon is a rare condition characterized by movement of the upper eyelid in a rapid rising motion (a "wink") each time the jaw moves.[1] The wink phenomenon may be elicited by opening the mouth, thrusting the jaw to the side, jaw protrusion, chewing, smiling, or sucking.[2] It is usually present at birth and may occur with other eye abnormalities (such as strabismus) or vision problems.[1][[2] Although it is usually unilateral, it can affect both eyes in rare cases.[2] The exact cause is not known. Marcus Gunn phenomenon is generally sporadic, but familial cases with autosomal dominant inheritance have been reported.[3][2] Treatment is not always needed but may include surgery in more severe cases.[4]
Last updated: 3/6/2013


  1. Marcus Gunn Phenomenon. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2003; Accessed 7/1/2009.
  2. Sean M Blaydon. Marcus Gunn Jaw-winking Syndrome. Medscape Reference. November 16, 2011; Accessed 3/5/2013.
  3. Marcus-Gunn syndrome. Orphanet. April 2007; Accessed 3/4/2013.
  4. Marcus Gunn Phenomenon. Marcus Gunn Phenomenon. March 24, 2008; Accessed 3/6/2013.
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Basic Information

  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Marcus Gunn phenomenon. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.