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April 1957

Diabetic Ophthalmoplegia: Report of Case, with Postmortem Study and Comments on Vascular Supply of Human Oculomotor Nerve

Author Affiliations


From the Neurology Service and Department of Pathology of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Department of Neuropathology, Harvard Medical School. This study was supported in part by a grant from the Harrington Fund.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(4):337-349. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330340013001

I. Introduction  Paralysis of the third, fourth, or sixth cranial nerve as a complication of diabetes mellitus was first recognized as a clinical entity by Ogle in 1866.1 Since that time, numerous, detailed clinical descriptions of cases of ocular palsy in diabetic patients have appeared in the medical literature. As many writers have observed, the ophthalmoplegia is often seen in patients who have had mild diabetes of long standing, frequently complicated by retinopathy, nephropathy, peripheral neuropathy, and lenticular opacities. The third and sixth cranial nerves are the ones most frequently affected, the paralysis coming on rapidly, sometimes in a matter of hours, and clearing up completely within a few weeks or months. The ophthalmoplegia is frequently accompanied by pain, often severe, which is localized within or behind the orbit in a distribution which may correspond to the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve. When the third nerve is affected,

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