The exact status of polioencephalitis (using the term to mean cerebral and not bulbar involvement) and its relationship to the spinal form of infantile paralysis remains nearly as unsettled now as it was at the time of its original description. Most writers on the subject describe a cerebral form of the disease, although actual data in support of their views are often lacking. The confusion originated from a report by Strümpell,1 in 1885, on a form of cerebral paralysis occurring chiefly in children and simulating clinically many of the manifestations of poliomyelitis. He believed that the condition was probably caused by the virus of infantile paralysis, and that it differed in no way from the spinal form of the disease, except in the localization of the lesion. The effect of Strümpell's article was extremely far-reaching, and every subsequent discussion of note has been influenced by his opinions.
ROTHMAN PE. POLIOENCEPHALITIS. Am J Dis Child. 1931;42(1):124-132. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1931.01940130131012