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This valuable monograph on syphilitic optic nerve atrophy was written by a neurologist who is a recognized authority on syphilis of the central nervous system.
The author points out that over 30,000 persons are blind in the United States as the result of syphilitic optic nerve atrophy. He summarizes and refutes four new theories of the pathogenesis of primary syphilitic optic nerve atrophy, namely, disturbance of the sympathetic nerve control; the theory of the interrelationship of systemic blood pressure, retinal blood pressure, and intraocular pressure; the theory which assumes that optic nerve atrophy follows optochiasmatic arachnoiditis in every case, and, finally, the vitamin-deficiency theory. Regarding the last, he states that, although degeneration in the spinal cord, and sometimes in the optic nerve, may occur as a direct result of diets deficient in vitamin A, vitamin B, or both, there is no evidence which justifies the introduction of nutritional deficiency as
Syphilitic Optic Atrophy. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1953;50(2):273–274. doi:10.1001/archopht.1953.00920030278014
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