Septo-optic dysplasia

content provided by

Septo-optic dysplasia


My 1-year-old son has just been diagnosed with septo-optic dysplasia. The main concern is his eyes. Can this be treated?



Septo-optic dysplasia is a rare disorder in which the nerve from the eye to the brain is underdeveloped (optic nerve hypoplasia). People with this condition may also have abnormalities of the brain and pituitary gland. There's no cure for this disorder. Treatment is directed at managing the signs and symptoms.

Normally, you have more than 1 million nerve fibers connecting each eye to your brain. People with septo-optic dysplasia have far fewer connections. This results in:

  • Involuntary and unusual eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Decreased vision in one or both eyes or even blindness

Other signs and symptoms of septo-optic dysplasia include:

  • Hormone problems due to underactive pituitary gland (hypopituitarism)
  • Developmental delays
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental retardation

The exact cause of septo-optic dysplasia isn't known. Signs and symptoms of the disorder range from mild to severe. Treatment may include:

  • Corrective lenses to correct astigmatism
  • Hormone therapy
  • Physical and occupational therapy

    © 1998-2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

    Terms and conditions of use


    Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version