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Article
December 1937

EUGENIC SIGNIFICANCE OF RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA

Author Affiliations

CHARLOTTE, N. C.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1937;18(6):938-947. doi:10.1001/archopht.1937.00850120072009
Abstract

Retinitis pigmentosa may be defined briefly as a degeneration of the retina in which "there are atrophy and destruction of the retinal neuroepithelium, the rods and cones, and their cell bodies"1 "with hyperplasia of connective tissue and advancement of pigment cells or their granules into the vacant retinal spaces."2 The natural consequence of this lesion is poor vision, which is aggravated, of course, by poor light.

Retinitis pigmentosa may be inherited as a dominant, a recessive or a sex-linked recessive trait, and this diversity in hereditary pattern is doubtless the reason why the subject is so confused in the medical literature, which shamelessly reveals the unfamiliarity of ophthalmologists with the subject of genetics. Wilmer,2 for instance, agreed with Nettleship that the ratio of males affected to females affected is 3:2; both dominant and recessive heredity, of course, affect the sexes equally, but in cases of

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