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November 1955

Spasm of the Near Reflex

Author Affiliations

Summer Fellow of the National Council to Combat Blindness, Inc. (Dr. Freese).; From the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1955;54(5):752-759. doi:10.1001/archopht.1955.00930020758020

The entity which we have called spasm of the near reflex1 has been infrequently described in the literature, and then under such names as spasm of accommodation, ocular spasm, and convergent spasm. It is characterized by intermittent and usually painful convergence, accommodation, and miosis. Although reported in association with neurologic * and vestibular † disease, it is generally attributed to hysteria. Nevertheless, the cases reported have been isolated instances, and, except for a collation of cases in Wilbrand and Saenger's text,7 no comprehensive series has been reported heretofore.

We have had the opportunity to study 16 cases. It is our purpose to summarize these cases with specific reference to signs and symptoms, age and sex, etiologic factors, and treatment. These cases are presented individually in the "Addendum." It was found impossible to review adequately the cases in the literature, for, while some clear-cut instances have been described, the majority

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