Twenty-six children with juvenile Batten's disease are reviewed. On clinical and histological evidence they appear to represent a specific disease entity, which though rare is a substantial cause of blindness in children aged 5--15 years. Children present with rapid progressive visual loss at age 6--7 years, early mental deterioration, and fits about 2--4 years later, and this is the stage at which the diagnosis is usually made. Macular degeneration appears to be a consistent early feature, and peripheral retinal changes become more marked as the disease progresses. Phototoxicity may possibly play a part in the retinal degeneration.
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