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March 1958

Studies of the Crystalline Lens in Humans Receiving Galactose over Prolonged Periods

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1958;59(3):406. doi:10.1001/archopht.1958.00940040112012

A. Introduction  Since the production of cataract was first observed by Mitchell and Dodge (1935) and by Yudkin and Arnold (1935) following the feeding of rats with a diet rich in lactose, many investigators, including Day, Bellows, Roaner, Jess, Cook, Susaki, Cashell, and Kon, have confirmed its occurrence in animals with both galactose and lactose. Lens changes occur more rapidly with galactose than with lactose, and the changes follow a rather predictable pattern. The earliest changes are vacuoles in the periphery and in the anterior cortex, while a posterior polar opacity and a nuclear opacity may precede complete maturation. The actual growing fibers are affected first, the cortex in adult animals and whole lens in the young. In rats mature cataracts are usually present by the 30th day.

B. Procedure  Observations were made on 12 patients who received galactose daily for periods of 2 to 12 months.The observations included

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