Hope and a limited understanding of ocular metabolism prompted the empiric use of numerous drugs1 in an attempt to check the development and cause the absorption of the opacities of incipient senile cataracts.
The failure of these remedies, together with an increasing knowledge of the physiology of the endocrine glands, stimulated the use of glandular preparations in ophthalmic research and practice.
Van Zandt2 described the visual disturbances incident to cataracts in his cases and attributed the temporary improvement in visual acuity to his endocrine therapy. He concluded that dysfunction of the thyroid was the activating agent, while dysfunctions of the gonads and of the pituitary were adjuvants, in the production of the senile opacities of the lens.
Kerr and his associates3 reported some success following the oral use of thyroid substance for senile cataract.
Kirby4 administered parathyroid extract to a group of selected patients with cataract
GILLETTE DF. EFFECT OF THYROXIN ON INCIPIENT SENILE CATARACTS. Arch Ophthalmol. 1941;25(3):438–442. doi:10.1001/archopht.1941.00870090062005
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