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April 1956


Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md.; Rochester, Minn.; U. S. N.; Guam; Bethesda, Md.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;75(4):435-441. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330220099008

THE REPORT of the concentration of cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on the Island of Guam by Arnold and associates (1949) and by Koerner (1952) led to an investigation to confirm the diagnosis and, if possible, to explain this phenomenon. Many of the results of the study so far completed are illustrated in the exhibit.

The exhibit demonstrates the principal clinical and pathological features of the disease in the Mariana Islands and reveals that it is a classic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with a high familial incidence.

Base-line prevalence data for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for comparison with the results in the Mariana Islands were obtained from the United States, Canada, and several European countries through mortality statistics and through survey data in Rochester, Minn. It was estimated as 4 to 6 per 100,000 population in these areas. However, the estimated prevalence among the Chamorro people (original natives) in the

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