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Article
September 15, 1934

THE GASTRO-INTESTINAL TRACT AND THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM IN POLIOMYELITIS

JAMA. 1934;103(11):840-841. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750370044014
Abstract

One of the curious early manifestations of poliomyelitis is the disturbance of the gastro-intestinal tract. In fact, it was proposed long ago that infantile paralysis is primarily an enteric disease1 and it was suggested that the infective agent might be carried from the intestinal tract to the central nervous system by way of the sympathetic nerves.2 These theses were generally held to be untenable because repeated efforts to produce the disease by enteral administration of the virus to monkeys failed,3 with but few exceptions,4 which, in view of their rarity, were not given serious consideration. It was assumed therefore that ingestion of the virus probably plays no part in the production of poliomyelitis and that the upper respiratory tract, notably the nasal passages, serves as the chief if not the only portal of entry for the infective agent. When, however, as Clark and his associates3

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