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Kennedy's syndrome

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Condition characterised by unilateral ipsilateral atrophy with contralateral papilloedema, central scotoma, and anosmia (absence of the sense of smell) usually due to a frontal lobe tumour or a meningioma of the optic nerve. There may be headache, dizziness, vertigo; occasionally, forceful vomiting, psychic changes (moria), memory loss.

The condition was first described by William Gowers in 1893. P. Schultz-Zehden described the symptoms in 1905, Paton in 1909. The first extensive and thorough account was made by Foster Kennedy in 1911. Later description by Wilhelm Uhthoff (1853-1927) in 1915.


  • P. Schultz-Zehden:
    Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Genese einseitiger Stauungspapille.
    Klinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde, Stuttgart, 1905, 43/II: 153.
  • F. Kennedy:
    Retrobulbar neuritis as an exact diagnostic sign of certain tumors and abscesses in the frontal lobe.
    American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Thorofare, N.J., 1911, 142: 355-368.
  • W. Uhthoff:
    Augensymptome bei Grosshirntumoren.
    Gräfe-Sämisch: Handbuch der Augenheilkunde, 1915. Volume I: 1143.

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