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April 30, 1955


JAMA. 1955;157(18):1615-1616. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950350029014

The comparative approach is often a necessary and usually a fruitful one in solving problems of human physiology and pathology. Considerable interest is therefore attached to the necropsy findings, reported by Steiner, Rasmussen, and Fisher,1 in Bushman, the famous gorilla who died four years ago in Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo at the age of 22. His death was preceded by a seven-month illness, characterized by paresis of the legs and one arm that at the time was attributed to a combinationi of senile changes, arteriosclerosis, and peripheral neuritis. Autopsy, however, revealed much more far-reaching findings, the elucidation of which might serve to throw, light on certain human nutritional disorders as well as aid in the preservation of this important subhuman primate, now in grave danger of extinction.

Briefly, autopsy revealed severe retrogressive changes, selective in location and involving chiefly the spinal cord, testes, and heart and circulatory system. Thus

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