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May 11, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(19):1376-1377. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600190032013

Progressive muscular dystrophy must at present be classed among the relatively uncommon disorders of man. Despite a group of frequently described clinical symptoms, including dryness and abnormal pigmentation of the skin, brittleness of the hair, hypertrichosis, trophic changes in the nails, unusual distribution of the subcutaneous fat, and both hypertrophy and underdevelopment of the genitalia, in addition to the muscular phenomena, the cause of these manifestations has not yet been unraveled. At one time it was customary to assign the etiology of muscular dystrophy to a defect in the nervous mechanism through the innervation of which the contractile tissue is set and maintained in activity. Neither a purely nervous origin nor a causal factor limited to the muscle structure itself can be defended as affording a complete explanation of the disease. The accompaniments of what might be interpreted as defects of either the muscular or the nervous apparatus of the