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May 22, 1937

THE USE OF BENZEDRINE SULFATE IN POSTENCEPHALITIC PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Author Affiliations

PROVIDENCE, R. I.; GLENS FALLS, N. Y.; LOS ANGELES

From the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital; Neurological Unit, Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, and the Second and Fourth Medical Services (Harvard), Boston City Hospital, and the Departments of Neuropathology and Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

JAMA. 1937;108(21):1765-1770. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780210005002
Abstract

In 1933, when benzedrine (beta-phenylisopropylamine) sulfate was first used in the treatment of narcolepsy,1 it was noticed that the patients being treated not only stopped having their attacks but also reported that they tired less easily and felt more energetic in general. It was therefore thought advisable to experiment with benzedrine sulfate in conditions in which asthenia is a prominent symptom.

Twenty-eight patients with postencephalitic Parkinson's disease, ten patients with arteriosclerotic Parkinson's disease and twenty-two patients with psychoneurosis have been given benzedrine sulfate for periods varying from four weeks to sixteen months. The oldest patient in the postencephalitic group was 54, the youngest 15, with the average age 32. A history of encephalitis was definite in seventeen patients, was probable in four and could not be obtained in seven. The clinical picture was characteristic in every case, though the following signs varied from patient to patient: rigidity of the

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