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March 10, 1945

A New Principle in the Treatment of Poliomyelitis

JAMA. 1945;127(10):619. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860100063026

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This short monograph is bad enough to warrant serious condemnation, although it is almost unthinkable that any intelligent physician could be influenced by it. The author builds up the theory that poliomyelitis is a streptococcic infection; that streptococcic infections cause latent jugular phlebitis, which in turn causes increased spinal fluid pressure, which in turn causes symptoms of meningeal irritation and paralysis. All this can be prevented by the simple expedient of the application of three or four leeches over each jugular vein! The final plea of the author is that this method does not "conflict with any other treatment."

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