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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pattern of ocular dominance columns in human striate cortex in strabismic amblyopia.

Previous experiments in animals have shown that early unilateral eyelid suture, a model of amblyopia induced by cataract, causes shrinkage of ocular dominance columns serving the deprived eye in the striate cortex. It is unknown whether the ocular dominance columns are affected in amblyopia produced by strabismus. We examined specimens of striate cortex obtained postmortem from a 79-year-old woman with a history of amblyopia in her left eye (20/800) since age 2 from accommodative esotropia. Four years prior to her death, she suffered an ischemic infarct of the left optic disc. This injury to the left optic disc made it possible to label the ocular dominance columns using cytochrome oxidase histochemistry. The pattern of ocular dominance columns was reconstructed throughout most of the right striate cortex. No shrinkage of columns was found. In the left cortex only half the column mosaic was labelled, because the patient had some residual vision in the temporal retina of her left eye. The columns within the labelled portion of the overall mosaic appeared normal. These findings indicate that shrinkage of ocular dominance columns does not occur in humans with amblyopia caused by accommodative esotropia. The ocular dominance columns are probably no longer susceptible to shrinkage at the age when most children with this condition begin to develop amblyopia.[1]


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