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February 1950

POLIOMYELITIS: III. Bulbar Poliomyelitis; A Study of Medullary Function

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School.

Arch NeurPsych. 1950;63(2):257-281. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1950.02310200065007

IN SPITE of an extensive literature on poliomyelitis, few publications have been devoted to a study of the medulla oblongata by either clinical or laboratory investigators. Most of the literature deals with the clinical and histologic alterations resulting from involvement of the spinal cord. This form of poliomyelitis, however, is rarely fatal and does not present the acute problems that so often accompany the bulbar form of this disease. Probably one reason for the neglect of this problem has been the belief that the incidence of bulbar poliomyelitis is low, the 6 per cent figure of Wickman1 still being relied on by many authorities. Generally, figures on the frequency of bulbar poliomyelitis are not entirely accurate, since many cases of mild sporadic outbreaks of this form of the disease are not reported. For example, Walsh2 in 1925 reported 55 cases with an incidence of bulbar involvement of 58