You might be interested in learning how the Flammer Syndrome was discovered and how it got its name. Here is a short summary:

Spasm in arteries have been known for decades and have also been observed occasionally in the retina.

In the eighties Josef Flammer and his team worked in the field of automated perimetry. During this period they observed that the sensitivity in the visual field of some people fluctuated markedly and homogeneously in the entire field from one day to the other. The affected people were not aware of it and the cause was unknown.

As next step they made the observation that the most people concerned suffered from a so called vasospastic syndrome (VSS) and that the sensitivity in the visual field fluctuated accordingly to the circulation in the finger. Hence the researchers concluded that this homogeneous type of visual field fluctuation might be vascular in nature and that the eyes must be involved in the VSS.

Shortly after they realized that most of their patients with Normal Tension Glaucoma suffered from a VSS and could show that a disturbed autoregulation of ocular blood flow often accompanies the VSS.

Based on this and other additional observations on glaucoma patients they developed a new concept for the genesis of glaucomatous damage, also called glaucomatous optic neuropathy / GON (see normal tension glaucoma). Furthermore these researchers showed that spasm in arteries is just one component of a much more complex dysfunction of vascular regulation and introduced the term vascular dysregulation (see terminology).

The group of Flammer then demonstrated that a vascular dysregulation, particularly the primary vascular dysregulation (PVD), is not just involved in the genesis of normal tension glaucoma, but influences potentially also the onset and progression of several other diseases (see associated diseases).

Finally this research group described a number of additional signs and symptoms related to PVD (see signs and symptoms). To describe this entire condition an international group of experts introduced the term Flammer Syndrome in the scientific literature (see literature). By the way the first author (Katarzyna Konieczka) and the senior author (Yao Ke) of this publication were the very last and the very first fellows of Josef Flammer respectively.


The discovery of the Flammer Syndrome