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January 1941

ARSENIC AS A POSSIBLE CAUSE OF SUBACUTE ENCEPHALOMYELITISCORRELATION OF CHEMICAL, CLINICAL AND HISTOLOGIC OBSERVATIONS

Author Affiliations

Fellow in Neurology and Neurologic Surgery, the Mayo Foundation; ROCHESTER, MINN.

From the Section on Pathologic Anatomy, the Mayo Clinic (Dr. Kernohan).

Arch NeurPsych. 1941;45(1):24-43. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1941.02280130034002
Abstract

The present study resulted from the observation that the clinical course in cases of subacute, fatal encephalomyelitis frequently seems attributable to the continuous action of some toxic agent. Considerable amounts of arsenic were found in the brain in most such instances in which that tissue was available. It is proposed in this study to consider the possible significance of these facts by correlating the clinical, pathologic and chemical features in cases of this type.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE  Under modern conditions, there is the growing likelihood that large numbers of persons exposed continuously to arsenic from a multitude of legitimate everyday sources may be slowly poisoned through its cumulative effects.1 In a complicated and irresponsible society, the detection and control of intake of arsenic are perhaps impossible at present.2 Also it is probably impossible to remove a patient from all contacts with arsenic.1bA review of the European

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