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December 1940

ELEMENT OF OPTICAL ILLUSION IN APPEARANCE OF PRESERVATION OF AXIS-CYLINDERS IN CERTAIN LESIONS OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

Author Affiliations

Boston; New York

From the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Arch NeurPsych. 1940;44(6):1312-1318. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1940.02280120159016
Abstract

In studying certain lesions of the central nervous system with myelin sheath stains of the Weigert type and with axis-cylinder stains (Bielschowsky, Bodian) we observed that a striking appearance of discrepancy between involvement of the myelin sheaths and that of the axis-cylinders (preservation of axis-cylinders) with the low power lens may become less striking in inverse proportion to the degree of magnification; if high power objectives are used and actual counts are made the discrepancy may appear either insignificant or nonexistent. By counting the number of persisting myelin sheaths and axis-cylinders in a large series of lesions we have found that in many of the lesions in which low power views suggested complete or relative preservation of axis-cylinders the damage to them was in reality similar or equal to that of the myelin sheaths. Since most illustrations in the literature contrasting the preservation of axis-cylinders and the destruction of myelin

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