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Chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) was first described by Albrecht von Graefe in 1868 and it is appropriate that his photograph graces the cover of this new book. Dr von Graefe looks strangely unhappy in the photograph, as if he had anticipated how little important information would be added about this group of diseases in the 111 years since his description. Despite hundreds of publications, we do not know what really causes CPEO or how to cure it.
Dr Bastiaensen's book is the only publication that I know of dedicated to the subject of CPEO. It begins with a chapter on the anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and pharmacology of the normal extraocular muscle. The second chapter details the history of the entity from 1868 until the publication by Kiloh and Nevin in 1951 that suggested that CPEO was primarily myopathic in nature. The concept of an ocular myopathy is expanded in
Lessell S. Chronic Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia. Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(8):1554. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020020200041
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