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February 23, 1946

Current Comment

JAMA. 1946;130(8):498. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870080032014

NEUROLOGIC COMPLICATIONS OF MENINGOCOCCIC MENINGITIS  Neurologic sequels of meningococcic meningitis such as paralysis, deafness, deaf mutism or aphasic difficulties are frequent. The most common late complication is chronic hydrocephalus. Bailey1 recently reported 4 cases in which neurologic complications followed the suppression of suppurative meningitis by sulfonamides or penicillin. In all the course of events was much the same: an acute purulent infection was controlled or cured by administration of sulfonamides or penicillin, but death or some serious neurologic disturbance developed. These therapeutic agents, Bailey says, do not exert any restraining influence on the fibroblasts which organize the exudate surrounding the meninges. The result is the formation of a dense scar through which the cerebrospinal fluid cannot circulate. The contraction of this scar tissue may constrict blood vessels and pathways essential to proper functioning of the nervous system. He does not suggest that these drugs be discarded in the treatment

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