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Henri Parinaud1 was a French ophthalmologist, born 1 May 1844, at Bellac, Haute-Vienne, the son of a locksmith. When Henri was 19, his father died; consequently he had to pay for his education and provide for his mother and brothers…he studied medicine at Limoges, and came to Paris in 1869.
He worked with the Red Cross during the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war. His thesis, A study on the optic nerve in meningitis of infants, attracted Charcot’s attention and he worked with him at the Salpêtrière, becoming Chef de Clinique under Xavier Galezowski. There he described optic neuritis, noting loss of colour vision in multiple sclerosis.
Parinaud was afflicted with indifferent health but published many papers, notably on stereoscopic vision and the visual cortex. He investigated ocular movements and strabismus, Parinaud’s oculo-glandular syndrome (often caused by Bartonella henselae, responsible for cat scratch disease or tularaemia). His studies of lachrymal infections are well known.