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January 3, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(1):23-26. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720270025006

During the World War, and in the following decade, there appeared in the literature reports of cases of infections of the cerebrospinal nervous system, with quite a related symptomatology. While the brunt of the infection seemed to have been borne by the cord, roots and peripheral nerves, the rest of the nervous system was not spared. The disease was ushered in by an upper respiratory or general systemic infection, with pain in the chest, back, abdomen and extremities, radicular in its distribution. Presently there developed paresis in one or more of the lower extremities, resulting in flaccid paraplegia and even in quadriplegia. Occasionally the paralysis was of an ascending nature, with medullary involvement resulting in death. There occurred marked reduction and even abolition of the deep tendon reflexes. There was also disturbance in the control of the sphincters. There were subjective as well as objective sensory disorders, both deep as