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July 3, 1909


JAMA. 1909;LIII(1):12-13. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.92550010014002a

Much has been written concerning optic neuritis since von Graefe supposed it to be caused by obstruction in the cavernous sinus, caused by intracranial pressure. The discovery of anastomoses between the ophthalmic and facial veins made that theory untenable. Schmidt-Rimpler and Manz held that the outflow of the venous blood was impeded by pressure on the optic nerve caused by dropsy in its sheath, and as a consequence stagnation of lymph in the papilla. Leber and Deutschmann believe that the neuritis is caused not so much by the pressure as by the toxic quality of the cerebrospinal fluid; which is loaded with the products of tissue change. These theories depend on pressure as the prime factor.

On the other hand, Gowers,1 Brailey,2 Edmunds,3 Mackenzie4 and others believe that the disease is not due to