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Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 1986;6(1):23-37.

A review of the role of sympathetic innervation of the ciliary muscle in ocular accommodation.


Although it is well established that autonomic control of ocular accommodation is predominantly parasympathetic, many investigators have, over the last 150 years, proposed that a supplementary sympathetic innervation should be considered. Particular attention is directed in this review to previous literature providing anatomical, physiological and pharmacological evidence for dual innervation of the ciliary muscle. Clinical and psychological evidence is shown to be equivocal. A review of recent laser optometry studies of tonic ("dark-focus") resting positions of accommodation indicates that the inhibitory nature of sympathetic innervation suggested by the majority of previous studies can be further defined with respect to specific adrenergic receptors. The implications of dual innervation relating to ocular accommodation during sustained near-vision tasks is discussed.

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