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3. German Retrospect.: Changes in Visual Power in Nervous Diseases.


Dr. L. Finkelstein has made some investigations in the clinique of Professor Mierzejewski with a view to ascertain what are the changes in visual power amongst those affected by disease of the nervous system. His results were communicated to the Psychiatric Association of St. Petersburg (” Neurologisches Centralblatt,” No. 1, 1886). He has especially investigated the power of sight in patients suffering from epilepsy, hysteria, neurasthenia, and chronic alcoholism. With the help of the perimeter he has found, along with the initial symptoms of an approaching epileptic attack, such as giddiness, headache, palpitation, that there is a narrowing of the field of vision in the retina of both eyes. Sometimes this takes the form of hemiopia, sometimes of concentric diminution. This narrowness of the field of vision is greatest after the attack, and the capacity for colours is unequal in different areas of the retina: thus the area in which green light is seen is the smallest; it is larger for red and larger still for blue. Dyschromatopsia is frequent; green is often seen indistinctly, or confounded with other colours. In like manner the visual power for colours returns at successive times, green coming last. Scatoma often occurs, and passes away in the same manner. The same appearances are noticed in hysteria, especially after hysterical attacks. In neurasthenia the visual area for white light is unaltered, while that for coloured light is contracted. In ordinary drunkenness there is no sensible diminution of the field of vision; but it is constantly found in chronic alcoholism and delirium tremens. In these cases hemiopia is the most common form of visual defect. It is generally in both eyes, not in one, as Magnan states. In some women, apparently healthy, there was observed periodical contraction of the retinal visual area, especially during menstruation.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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3. German Retrospect.: Changes in Visual Power in Nervous Diseases.

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