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January 1979

Visual Resolution in a Patient Exhibiting a Visual Fatigue or Saturation-like EffectProbable Multiple Sclerosis

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(1):76-78. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020010016003

• A rapid visual resolution test conducted on available equipment reveals the presence of rapid falloff in acuity in a case of probable multiple sclerosis. Intense large field illumination was used, and grating acuity was tested using laser red light. The effect is so large that minor anomalies (not subjectively appreciated) or the residuum of earlier minor attacks of retrobulbar optic neuritis can be readily detected. A related "visual fatigue or saturation-like syndrome" was described earlier.

In bright environments these patients' vision fades. Briefly closing the eyes restores visual sensitivity. Providing filters or lowering the light level tends to maintain vision.

This test must be studied intensively. It offers a noninvasive simple means of showing underlying anomalies in neural conduction of the visual signal. Such anomalies can be prognostic and previously have been revealed only with sophisticated electrophysiological techniques.