In looking through the text-books of ophthalmology of fifty years ago we are struck by the extensive group of amblyopias and amauroses. Ruete describes thirty-seven varieties. The terms were convenient, for as we read in Faust
Denn eben wo Begriffe fehlen
Da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein.
By the aid of ophthalmoscopy and of pathology this great category has been reduced more and more, until now there are but a few important classes of cases for which these terms are still considered useful. Prominent among them are the toxic amblyopias. These have gradually assumed greater and greater importance. The clinical symptoms produced by the various poisons and the character and degree of the visual impairment are now quite well known. Our knowledge, however, of the pathological changes upon which these depend, of the location of the lesion in the visual apparatus, is far from being established. It
FRIEDENWALD H. THE NEWER PATHOLOGY OF THE RETINA. WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE CHANGES PRODUCED IN THE GANGLION CELLS BY CERTAIN TOXIC AGENTS. JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(22):1443–1446. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.62470480013002b
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