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April 22, 1944


JAMA. 1944;124(17):1220. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850170056020

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To the Editor:—  In the issue of March 4, page 676, the answer to a query on the relationship of poliomyelitis to late muscle atrophy denies any possible correlation between the two conditions and states that the latter condition would be due "to some new injury to or disease of the muscle or its corresponding nerve." However, a number of cases of chronic anterior horn cell atrophy of a noninflammatory nature (progressive muscular atrophy, progressive nuclear atrophy) have been described, which have followed after a variable interval an attack of poliomyelitis. This degenerative condition has usually been reported in persons who have exercised their muscles strenuously; in a mountain climber, for example, and I saw it appear in a ditch digger two years after a typical attack of poliomyelitis. Thus it does seem that in some individuals the original inflammatory lesion of poliomyelitis leaves a locus of least resistance, which

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