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How do the iris-signs originate?

        HOW DO THE IRIS-SIGNS ORIGINATE?
In order to make a thorough investigation of the iris-signs, it is first necessary to consider which type of sign. We distinguish three kinds of signs in the iris:
1. Unnatural colourings.
2. White, dark and black signschiefly as dots, radiating lines or 'wisps'.
3. Circular signscalled 'Contraction rings'.
1. The unnatural colourings have their basis in the circulatory fluids of the body. These circulatory fluids (blood and lymph) are affected by external and internal influences, as through medication, or autointoxication, and changes due to uric acid or biliary disturbances. These pathological changes in the lymph are revealed not only by the skin and mucous membranes, but show also in the iris and the sclera, as is evident in jaundice. There are also the deposits in tissues, as may occur in rheumatism and gout.
2. Special attention is given to the white, dark and black signs of the iris which are generally radiating in direction, and which constitute the first consideration in the recognition of disease conditions. White signs may also indicate unnatural substances, as with uric-acid crystalline deposits, arteriosclerosis, etc.
The next signs to investigate are the inflammation-signs. These appear with acute diseases, and either disappear on recovery, or become darker and darker with the transition to the chronic phase, and ultimately change to black signs with the direct loss of tissue-substance in the organs concerned.
White signs mean: Over-stimulation, increased activity, heightened rhythm (e.g. peristaltic), and irritation of the nerve-fibres.
Dark signs mean: Insufficient stimulation, diminished activity, atony, atrophy, loss of substance: the iris shows loss of colour, thus becoming darker, and with the final destruction of nerve fibres and tissue cells ultimately registers as black signs.
When there is destruction of the nerve-plexus of an organ, how is it that neither the connection nor the result is visible in the iris? It is functionless, and hence useless. In the same way, we can find a plausible explanation for the white healing-signs surrounding the black signs in the iris which indicate loss of substance. It suggests that there is increased functional activity in the tissues adjacent to the nerve plexus exactly the same in the organ as in the iris. Either the healthy fibres assume the functions of the destroyed nerve pathways, or alternatively initiate a reparative activity by laying down new tissue (scar-tissue) and promoting fibrosis.
In the same way, one can explain the traumatic-lesion signs found in the irisfrequently showing a characteristic shape, i.e. according as whether caused by a blunt or pointed object. It then shows not the form of the instrument but the shape of the injury, as for example the
destroyed tissue and nerve cells.
There are also the so-called 'lacunae'small or large open spaces in the iris, which are more easily visible, the more plentiful their surroundings of interweaving thick vascular trunks. These (lacunae) lie between the delicate reticular ramifications of the nerve bundles and indicate functional weaknesses. The ramifications also suggest a weakened organism. The 'lacunae' usually appear in the iris in large numbers, if present at all.
3. Contraction rings. Circular signs, called Cramp rings (Nerve rings) which appear as shorter or longer segments of arc, are found only in the ciliary zone. These 'ring-furrows' are usually lighter or darker than the remainder of the iris and arise in connection with conditions of continued spasm. Considerable difference of opinion exists as to their origin.
Schnabel ascribes to a slackening or spasm of the sphincters or dilators of the ciliary muscles. Thiel believes that through the continuous regular pull of all the dilator fibres, or at least of a sector of the iris-diaphragm, functioning in the same way as the pupillary margin, that concentric arcs would be formed by circular folds.
Now it is surely remarkable that these rings are found only in the ciliary zone, usually in arcs of smaller or greater length, and this is highly suggestive when it is also observed that not more than four such arcs are to be found running parallel. Surely, it must be considered that the
arc-shape makes it fairly improbable that the radiating fibres of the pupillary dilators could form these rings.
With close observation of the ciliary zone in the normal iris we find three concentric interruptions faintly signified. How do these arise? According to the opinion of Frau Pastor Madaus, they arise in the true nerve fibre. Dr. Andogsky states that these enter the iris in radial bundles. Thereafter they immediately lose their radial direction and turn parallel to the ciliary border, thus forming the first ring, and thereafter sending several thick radial branches towards the pupillary margin with a number of smaller branching distributions.
After which, the larger nerve branches which have traversed approximately a third of the distance to the midway of the total width, again turn parallel to the border and conjoin to form arcsthe second ring. From these, radiating branches project to form a new line of arcs close to the iris-wreath: the third ring. We thus have three concentric contracting rings of iris nerves.
If we apply our understanding of the origin of the white and black radial signs to the nerve rings, then it follows that their bright or dark appearance must be related to conditions of
over-stimulation or deficient stimulation. The arc formation of which the individual rings consist readily explains the appearance of partial rings. If we find a region of the body as localised in the iris so marked, we may certainly assume that these rings give definite indication of disturbance in such parts.
Whether such are always associated with painful attacksspasmsI cannot confirm, since one frequently finds that there is no history of such conditions. From my observations it appears that cramp-like conditions exist in the bodily organs corresponding to the iris region where the nerve rings show an interruption.
In dealing with 'nerve-rings' we must also consider the zone in which they are found. If registering in the Blood-zone, then they indicate disturbances of circulation in the large blood vessels and lymph channels. If found in the other zonesmuscular, skeletal, skinthen disturbances exist in those tissues.
During the last twenty years, the incidence of these nerve rings has increased ten to fifteen times. I attribute this to the calcium deficiency arising from the bad nutrition of the war years.

*8\78\2*

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