A great variety of neurologic disturbances are known to occur in the course of pertussis. Among these the commonest are convulsions, cerebral palsies of various types and visual disturbances. These symptoms may be of brief duration or may persist. The older neurologists were accustomed to attribute such complications to cerebral hemorrhages resulting from the cerebral congestion which occurs during the paroxysms, but it is well known that hemorrhages may be absent in some cases and even when present may be insufficient to explain the clinical picture. This fact led to the theory that cerebral edema or "serous meningitis" was the pathologic basis of the nervous manifestations in pertussis, and Neurath1 was able to demonstrate mild meningeal changes in fatal cases.
In 1924, Husler and Spatz2 published an article which threw new light on the subject. These investigators made a careful histologic study of the nervous system of two
FORD FR. DEGENERATION OF THE CEREBRAL CORTEX IN THE COURSE OF PERTUSSISRÉSUMÉ OF THE LITERATURE AND REPORT OF A CASE WITH ANATOMIC OBSERVATIONS. Am J Dis Child. 1929;37(5):1046-1050. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1929.01930050156016