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December 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiological Chemistry, Northwestern University Medical School.
Dr. Chinn is the recipient of a grant from the Snyder Ophthalmic Foundation.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1941;26(6):1066-1093. doi:10.1001/archopht.1941.00870180146011

The theories that have been advanced for the pathogenesis of cataract are many and varied. It is beyond the scope of the present review to discuss in detail the vast literature in support or in opposition of each. Instead we shall concern ourselves primarily with the theories that seem to be most amply supported by investigational work—either clinical or experimental. The means by which some types of cataract are produced may often seem far removed from the cause of senile cataract. These factors are included in the discussion, nevertheless, because of the light they may shed on the general problem. The theories may be broadly divided into two groups : (1) those involving physical or chemical derangements and (2) those involving senile involutional and hereditary factors.

The etiologic factors of the former group lend themselves more readily to experimental study and can be conveniently subdivided under the following headings: (1) endocrine

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