Macular degeneration (MD) is a multifactorial disturbance of the entire
visual system. That is, other senses such as hearing, smelling, tasting
and memory may be affected in addition to vision. This requires a simultaneous
treatment of the whole perception system such as eyes and head.
The present volume addresses to patients, their families, and friends
(part 1) as well as to physicians and ophthalmologists (part 2). The scientifical
approach of the system therapy is problem-solving based upon epistemology,
biology and modern physics of non-linear dynamics.
The 3rd edition is distinguished by big letters which guarantee a facile
legibility. As for the content, there are some interesting new aspects:
the chapter "International Standard and Current Bases of Knowledge"
shows the development of neural sciences. American researchers recently
proved that regeneration of nerves is possible. Therefore, the author
comes to the conclusion that treatment is indicated regardless of the
stage of the disease and the age of the patient in order to mobilize the
few remaining functions of the retina and to prevent deterioration.
Logical analysis of the functional brain-theories provides a distinct
survey of the different approaches to the nerveous system (self-organization
versus input-output reflex theory).
The author discusses the relation between the observing doctor and the
patient observed by him (subjectivity versus objectivity). The current
conventional view has its origins in the philosophy of Descartes who consiered
the human body as a machine moved by causalities. Thus, the interaction
between patient and ophthalmologist is characterized as monologue which
should be reconsidered and turned into a dialogue between them. Communication
can be a source of cognition and scientifical progress. 'Truth and objectivity
exist among human beings, but they are non-existent somewhere else', the
author stresses in chapter III "Subjectivity and Objectivity of visual
Perception" (see also English summary). The different forms of geometries
(Euclid and non-euclid-ones) are demonstrated in correlation to the visual
mal-perception of MD-patients (metamorphopsia). By means of fractal geometry,
pathological visual sensations like asymmetry, disproportions, mal-positions
or distorsions - all of these are not measurable phenomena- can be explained.
The meaning of "space", "time" , "matter"
and movement is questioned by the anomalies of perception. Following modern
physics, findings of measurement in ophthalmology need to be revisited,
because visual perception cannot be reduced to mere numerical data. On
the contrary it is an experience or a psychological process.
The book is to be regarded as a bridge between science and philosophy
surmounting the frontier of pure mechanics. By this, the author puts a
different and modified aspect on ophthalmology.
All together, the 3rd edition is a successful enlargement and addition
of the first edition of 1999. Fortunately, latest findings in science
and methodology are integrated into this revised edition. One wishes that
this book will be widely spread not only among affected people but especially
Dr.med. Wilfried Stock Baden-Baden / Germany
(translated from German by Dr. Marion Sradj)