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To the Editor:—
Reference is made to the recent article by Dr. Geo. G. Spellman (JAMA179:372 [Feb. 3] 1962) on familial parkinsonism. For many years I treated 3 siblings for this disease and I had regarded these 3 individuals as an example of the inheritance of this illness. There was one other child who had not manifested the stigmata of the disease. Neither parent nor grandparent had had parkinsonism.Recently I met a spry old lady in her 80's who was the aunt of my 3 patients. Upon questioning her I learned that a severe attack of "influenza" had incapacitated these 3 patients when they were in their late teens, and that the one remaining child did not acquire the disease. All 3 of my patients had been seriously ill, "delirious," and "out of their minds" for days during this attack. None of them had remembered this incident.
Berger H. Familial Parkinsonism. JAMA. 1962;180(2):178. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050150084025