The etiology of primary progressive muscular atrophy is unknown. Exposure to cold, overexertion, fatigue, trauma, toxins and infections, and hereditary and familial tendencies have been mentioned. Gowers1 believed that some nervous diseases, particularly of the motor system, were due to systemic degeneration of nerve elements which have a common function. He devised the term abiotrophy to describe them and gave Friedreich's disease as a typical illustration. Spiller2 has called attention to the presence of syphilis as an etiologic factor in a certain small percentage of cases of progressive muscular atrophy. In the report of the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Diseases on acute epidemic encephalitis,3 1921, mention is made that "either the spinal or bulbar form of progressive muscular atrophy may sometimes be simulated by the more subacute forms of epidemic encephalitis." Grinker4 refers to a case, which he regards as a combination of
Carr AD. AN ENCEPHALITIC RESIDUAL SIMULATING PROGRESSIVE MUSCULAR ATROPHY OF SHOULDER GIRDLE TYPE. Arch NeurPsych. 1926;16(3):344–346. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1926.02200270083007
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