July 28, 1934


JAMA. 1934;103(4):262-263. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750300036015

The prevalence of epidemic poliomyelitis in southern California has revived interest in treatment of the acute disease with serum. Largely as a result of the studies of Aycock and his associates,1 opinion had become crystallized that convalescent serum was highly effective in preventing and minimizing paralysis if given in the preparalytic stage. In the New York epidemic of 1931, Park carried out a rigorously controlled therapeutic experiment in which unselected alternate patients received convalescent serum in the preparalytic stage. He could find no difference either in incidence of paralysis or in mortality rates in the two groups.

The treatment of the acute stage of poliomyelitis has now been reviewed by Harmon,2 who has pointed out that many preparalytic cases are destined never to result in paralysis. In other words, many instances of early poliomyelitis diagnosed in the preparalytic stage by pleocytosis and an increase in protein in the

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