Amaurotic familial idiocy—a clinical entity of which about one hundred cases are on record, is of great interest to the general medical profession because its symptoms are relatively so definite but rarely so correlated by the observer as to be recognized as the disease we are about to discuss.
The forerunners of the discovery of this disease were the ophthalmologists, chief of whom was Warren Tay,1 who, in 1881, published an article under the caption "Symmetrical Changes in the Region of the Yellow Spot in Each Eye of an Infant." Tay found that in his patient, a child of 12 months, in the region of the macula, there was a large whitish patch, in the center of which was a brownish red spot similar to that caused by embolism of the central artery of the retina. He considered this change probably a local congenital disturbance. Later, in 1884,
WOLFSOHN JM. AMAUROTIC IDIOCY: GENERAL AND HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS WITH REPORT OF A CASE. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1915;XVI(2):257–269. doi:10.1001/archinte.1915.00080020111007
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