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July 1960

Deficiency Amblyopia in the Alcoholic Patient: A Clinicopathologic Study

Author Affiliations

Present address: Department of Neurology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia (Dr. Mancall).; From the Neurology Service and the Homer Wright Laboratories of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry (Neuropathology), Harvard Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;64(1):1-33. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.01840010003001

The occurrence of a characteristic disorder of vision in subjects addicted to alcohol is not an unusual phenomenon. This affliction is usually called tobacco-alcohol amblyopia; some authors still refer separately to tobacco and alcohol amblyopia, the choice of term depending on whether one regards these as separate entities or as clinically identical. Despite a convincing body of evidence that nutritional deficiency is the underlying cause of these disorders, the term "tobacco-alcohol" is still generally employed, the implication being that the toxic effects of alcohol and/or tobacco are the important etiological factors.

In the course of our studies on the effect of alcohol on the nervous system, we have made observations on a group of 14 patients, all of whom had an ocular disturbance characterized by an impairment of central vision and the presence of central and centrocecal scotomata which were more prominent with red and green than with white test

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