It has been suggested (Kuré and collaborators1 and Hechst2) that only the large nerve fibers in the ventral roots degenerate in cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and that the small fibers remain intact. Kuré stated that this was true of the pyramidal and rubrospinal tracts as well. As these observations were not supported by measurements and the material was limited, their statements have received little recognition. Marburg3 expressed the belief that the observations of Kuré and Hechst did not prove that a special fiber system was left intact in the ventral roots, since other investigators had not noted a predominant loss of large fibers in the ventral roots in their cases, and suggested as an alternative that these small fibers were atrophic. Karlström and Wohlfart 4 reported a marked reduction in the number of large nerve fibers in the ventral roots in cases of infantile spinal muscular
WOHLFART G, SWANK RL. PATHOLOGY OF AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS: FIBER ANALYSIS OF THE VENTRAL ROOTS AND PYRAMIDAL TRACTS OF THE SPINAL CORD. Arch NeurPsych. 1941;46(5):783–799. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1941.02280230025003
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