August 1960

The Effect of Advancing Age upon the Human Spinal Cord.

Author Affiliations

By L. Raymond Morrison, M.D. With the collaboration of Stanley Cobb, M.D. and Walter Bauer, M.D. Price, $6. Pp. 127, with some illustrations. Harvard University Press, Cambridge 38, Mass., 1959.

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(2):308. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820020148028

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This 125-page book is divided into two sections. The first part is a description of the spinal cord changes allegedly resulting from aging; it is illustrated with microphotographs. The second part is an atlas, showing different segments of a normal spinal cord from a 24-year-old woman.

The first section may be of value to neuropathologists, but it is paradoxical that, as the preface comments, it has been common to study the spinal cord of elderly patients dying of chronic disease—with the inference that such observations may not be valid concerning changes specifically related to age. However, the spinal cords which were selected for study were from patients dying of "malignant hypertension, rheumatic heart disease, cancer of the stomach, miliary tuberculosis etc." It is apparent that some of the changes recorded may be in some way related to the systemic disease present. The many illustrations are of fair quality but do

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