The Collarette

Situated on the border of two iris belts, pupillary and ciliary, this roller-fold is called the autonomic nerve wreath (or autonomous nervous wreath, the ANW) because it is the projection of the autonomous (vegetative) nervous system. The autonomic nerve wreath, or collarette, has a dual origin: embryological (from the fetal membranes) and vascular (from the vessels of the lesser arterial circle). Synonyms for the autonomic nerve wreath are “iris crown,” “sympathetic crown,” “iris fringe,” and “frill.”

The autonomic nerve wreath is one of the most important landmarks that an iridologist will analyze. This collarette is well illustrated as the vascular analog for the autonomic nervous system, a circular phenomenon described as representative for the exchange of nutrients and toxic material between the intestinal tract and the body humors. The collarette also serves as an index for the lining of the intestinal tract and autonomic nervous system.

The collarette’s circular conformity is a measure of nervous system equilibrium. It suggests a direct link between disturbances in the intestines and peripheral disturbances elsewhere in the body. Thus, it is a very important landmark for the gastrointestinal system, the autonomic nervous system, and the nervous system as a whole.

Collarette wreath distinction, arrangement, and shape all help to identify intestinal activity patterns and reactive character. The ANW broadcasts the response of the system to diversified circumstances of lifestyle, diet and emotional stress. Distinct signs that show these tendencies include crypts, stroma density and central heterochromia, along with radial and contraction furrows.

An obscured Collarette commonly will suggest a condition of toxicity with potential dysfermentias and dysbacteria (dysbiosis). A thickened collarette may indicate toxic materials leaking through intestinal walls, thereby creating a chronic inflammation of the surrounding lymph.

Collarette distention and constriction may also indicate specific types of physical behaviors.

The autonomic nerve wreath is characterized by the following parameters:

• Dimensions of pupillary and ciliary belts

• Pronunciation

• Clarity

• Color

• Type of form

In the irides of newborns, the autonomic nerve wreath is virtually non-distinguishable; its formation is completed by three to five years age. Usually it looks like an even or broken line, elevated over the deep mesoderm layer where large trabecules form this line. The ANW is a dynamic structure because it can be constricted or increased in volume depending on the continuously changing sizes of the pupillary belt and pupil. For this reason, it is beneficial to carry out biomicroscopic examinations of the autonomic nerve wreath with narrowed pupils, using a bright illumination source. This zone is of great importance for diagnosis, because the collarette is the indicator for the activity of all visceral systems and the reference point for topic diagnostics. It is believed that one can evaluate the functional state of the sympathetic part of the vegetative nervous system by the height and width of the autonomic nerve wreath.

A regular, close to circular form of the autonomic nerve wreath takes place because of the balanced interaction of sphincter and dilator. The sphincter of a pupil has approximately 70-80 separate segments; the widely arranged dilator has no fewer segments. Consequently, in normal function of the autonomic nerve wreath, the harmony in the interaction of the dozens of segments of muscles-antagonists is reached with the assistance of all components of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system sections. Good coordination of their work depends on normal harmonic functioning of all internal organs. Any pronounced and prolonged dysfunction of organs, given the pathological viscero-iridal impulses, leads to the disharmony of the autonomous nervous system and, besides the violation of pigment metabolism, to its corresponding deformation.

Under normal conditions, the color of the autonomic nerve wreath corresponds with the iris color, so an increase or decrease of color intensity (local or general) should be considered as pathological symptoms.

Many iridodiagnostic researchers view the autonomic nerve wreath to be tightly connected with many important organs, so pathological signs of this formation are associated with the pathology of the corresponding organs. The most rough sign, indicative of the most severe pathology, is the rupture. The rupture can point to the irreversible pathology of the vegetative nervous system components or hypofunction of the corresponding organs. For example, a rupture in the upper part of the autonomic nerve wreath can point to radix neurological symptoms in the cervical section of the spinal column.

Special signs for the autonomic nerve wreath are typical for certain diseases. There are Russian data that some changes are intrinsic for people with mental diseases. Besides the structural disorganization of iris stroma in the brain projection, local protrusion of the autonomic nerve wreath into this area is most typical of a schizophrenic iridological sign. Some patients have a double protrusion without ruptures, a “horns” symptom, while others have a protrusion that violates autonomic nerve wreath integrity.

Local drawing out of the autonomic nerve wreath indicates the pathology of an organ for which the projection of such drawing is directed.

Local drawing out at the lateral departments of both irises is observed in patients with cardiac pathology (post-infarction cardiosclerosis, rheumatic failures, hypertrophy of the left ventricle). The connection among location, extent of autonomic nerve wreath protrusion and hypertension in certain heart cavities was previously studied in Russia. On the left iris, local protrusion in the heart projection is three times more common than in the right. The light extent of autonomic nerve wreath deformation corresponds with the compensated hypertrophy if myocardium, average, with the initial stages of the dilation, rough, with pronounced dilation. It is supposed that a rupture in this area, which takes place very rarely, is a symptom of aneurysm formation.

Ptosis of the abdominal organs is accompanied with specific changes in the autonomic nerve wreath. Insignificant ptosis of the transverse colon, which can have no clinical manifestations, is reflected in iridology by the flattening of the autonomic nerve wreath in the upper departments.

The rough ptosis of the transverse colon with the prolapse of the abdomen cavity organs is associated with the pronounced flattening of the autonomic nerve wreath, not only in the upper part, but also in the lower one. In such cases it is necessary to distinguish the lower flattening from that drawn in the autonomic nerve wreath in the “5.00 – 7.00” sector, which takes place in people with an ulcerous disease of the duodenum. To be more precise, it is the marking of the inherited inclination to gastroduodenitis, duodenum ulcer.

In bronchial asthma, changes in the autonomic nerve wreath take place in the area of the lungs-bronchi, in atherosclerosis of the lower extremities in the area of the brain and pelvic organs. Strictures of the transverse colon can be associated with the local pronounced drawing in of the autonomic nerve wreath, diverticulum of the large intestine with some small local drawing out. Such signs can be multiplied in diverticulosis.

Importance is attached to the violation of the ratio between the sizes of pupillary and ciliary belts (in the normal state, radial dimensions of the ciliary belt is one-half to two-thirds from the iris radius). Deviation from these data is often a symptom of the nervous system and digestive tract diseases. If computer processing is not available and estimation of the relative dimensions is difficult, the conditional subdivision into the circular areas is applied.

According to recent investigational data, besides the abovementioned symptoms of changed form, the structure and color of the autonomic nerve wreath, the type of its reaction to different kinds of irritants, and the so-called associated reactions all seem to be very important issues.

It is known that the autonomic nerve wreath seems to repeat movements of the dilation or contraction of a pupil. In individuals with a stable type of nervous system, such reactions are synchronous and symmetric for both eyes. Through increased or decreased excitability of the central nervous system, however, consensual reactions are violated. In certain organic brain pathologies, symmetry can occur, but in other types of psycho-emotional pathologies, synchrony and consensuality may occur.

The study of these reactions, tightly connected with higher nerve activity and reflex reactions, is a significant perspective for understanding the individual processes of excitation and inhibition as well as evaluation of reactivity and resources on the  subcortical level.

Collarette Embryology

The collarette is an embryonic membrane and can develop until the age of three. The section from the external border of collarette and the pupillary border is one of the most important iridodiagnostic observations since details for the entire individual is located in this sector.

Both research and clinical observations have shown collarette integrity associated to:

1: Innervation of autonomic nervous system.

2: Integrity of gasto-intestinal tract.

3: Endocrine changes and disturbances.

4: Arterial blood circulation

Collarette Indications


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