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December 14, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(24):1986-1987. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760500038014

Epidemiologic and experimental evidence seem to indicate that the virus of poliomyelitis gains entrance to the central nervous system chiefly through the nasopharynx, probably by way of the olfactory nerve. It is an interesting fact that the olfactory nerve fibers are derived from cells situated actually on the surface of the body in the upper part of the nasal cavity. The fibers from the olfactory cells pass through the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone to the olfactory bulb lying under the inferior surface of the frontal lobe of the brain. The terminal fibers of the nerve are therefore exposed to the external environment. Many years ago it was shown that poliomyelitis could be produced in monkeys by instilling the virus into the nose. Flexner and Clark found that within forty-eight hours after intranasal inoculation the olfactory lobes became infective. Poliomyelitis virus has been found in the washings or tissues