Special forms

Cortical blindness. Bilateral lesions of the visual cortex, especially injuries, can produce both temporal and nasal visual field defects with normal pupillary light reaction and normal optic disk findings.

Visual agnosia. Where the association areas of the brain are damaged, as often occurs in lesions of the parietal lobe or marginal visual cortex, the patient can see but is unable to interpret or classify visual information. Examples of this include alexia (acquired inability to comprehend written words) and color agnosia (inability to distinguish colors).

Other symptoms and findings. Depending on the underlying disorder, these may include headache, nausea, vomiting, and papilledema. A differential diagnosis requires CT and MRI studies.

— Visual field defects associated with the major lesions of the visual pathway. —

Optic nerve

Lateral geniculate body

Optic tract

Optic chiasm

Visual cortex (area 17)

Optic radiations

— Visual field defects associated with the major lesions of the visual pathway. —

Optic nerve

Lateral geniculate body

Optic tract

Optic chiasm

Visual cortex (area 17)

Optic radiations

Treatment: Depending on the underlying disorder, the patient is referred to either a neurologist or neurosurgeon for treatment.

Prognosis: The prognosis is generally poor, and the visual field defects usually do not subside.

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