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Notes From Our Ophthalmic Heritage
December 1998

A look at the past . . .

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(12):1665. doi:10.1001/archopht.116.12.1665

The Comparative Anatomy of the Mammalian Eye

I have noticed in certain night animals, more particularly in the Galagos and Lorides, a heaping-up of pigment all around the periphery, which, seen with the ophthalmoscope, greatly resembles Retinitis pigmentosa. Exposing a Galago to daylight for some months, I found it to go quite blind; the invasion of the pigment could clearly be seen to advance concentrically towards the posterior pole, as I have seen the disease spread in Man... I thought that these observations on night animals pointed t the possibility of arresting the insidious progress of the disease, of which blindness is the invariable termination, by shielding the eyes from the most active rays of daylight. A few attempts to do this by the use of spectrum-blue goggles... have given encouraging results, and I am therefore persevering in that direction.

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