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March 1951


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Neurosurgery, Academy of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;65(3):299-318. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320030036004

IT IS, of course, well known that the efferent impulses causing the lacrimal gland to secrete leave the lacrimal nucleus in the brain stem by preganglionic fibers of the parasympathetic nervous system which run in the nervus intermedius of Wrisberg, the greater superficial petrosal nerve and the vidian nerve (nervus canalis pterygoidei) and enter the sphenopalatine ganglion. The postganglionic fibers, arising here, reach the lacrimal gland through the zygomatic and lacrimal nerves.

Any lesion affecting this pathway may cause a disturbance in the secretion of tears, which usually parallels alterations in the secretion of saliva and the sensation of taste and which may consist of cessation, diminution or exaggeration of lacrimation. In fact, Köster1 (1900, 1902) noted such disturbances in 41 of his 62 patients with paralysis of the facial nerve. In 29 cases tearing was either completely abolished (15 cases) or diminished (14 cases), whereas in 12 cases