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Loss of facial sweating and flushing in Holmes-Adie syndrome

Drummond, P.D. and Edis, R.H. (1990) Loss of facial sweating and flushing in Holmes-Adie syndrome. Neurology, 40 (5). pp. 847-849.

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We investigated pupillary responses to parasympathetic (pilocarpine) and sympathetic agents (tyramine, cocaine, and phenylephrine) in a 51-year-old woman with tonic pupils, loss of muscle stretch reflexes in the limbs, and hemifacial loss of sweating and flushing (Ross' syndrome). A smaller pupillary response to tyramine and cocaine eyedrops on the symptomatic side indicated that outflow was disrupted in the postganglionic section of the ocular sympathetic pathway. A greater response to phenylephrine eyedrops on this side was consistent with denervation supersensitivity to adrenergic agents. Loss of thermoregulatory sweating and flushing and emotional blushing in the forehead, cheek, and chin indicated that sympathetic disruption was proximal to the bifurcation of the common carotid artery, probably in the superior cervical ganglion. A similar degenerative process may be responsible for loss of muscle stretch reflexes, tonic pupils, and other autonomic disturbances in Ross' syndrome.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
Publisher: American Academy of Neurology
Copyright: American Headache Society
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