Most nerve fibers of the human optic nerve originate in the ganglion cell layer of the retina and run from the retina up to the external geniculate body of the brain. They are centripetal (afferent, sensory) neurites and their cell bodies are in the retina. These fibers soon degenerate whenever the neurons of the ganglion cell layer are destroyed or when the optic nerve is severed by a cut or a pathological process. In a recent study1 of two human optic nerve stumps, the corresponding eyes of which were removed 11 and 16 years before, it was found that these optic nerve stumps still contained numerous nerve fibers. This fact is definite evidence for the existence of nerves of the centrifugal kind in the human optic nerve. These fibers are also known as efferent or antidrome nerves. Further studies2 revealed more evidence for the existence of these centrifugal
WOLTER JR. Regenerative Potentialities of the Centrifugal Fibers of the Human Optic Nerve. Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;64(5):697–707. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.01840010699012
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