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July 7, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(10):720-722. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860270022006

Recent developments in the therapy of poliomyelitis have emphasized the element of spasm of the involved muscles and the desirability of treating this spasticity. In the Kenny method, hot foments are used for this purpose. Kabat and Knapp1 have reported favorably on the use of neostigmine to control the muscle spasm. They have attacked the problem from the point of view of the disturbed neurophysiology described by Watkins, Brazier and Schwab2 and by Moldaver.3

Since many of the patients studied by Kabat and Knapp were in the chronic stage of poliomyelitis, we have been interested in studying the relaxing effect of neostigmine on the acute stage of the disease. Thus far we have used neostigmine in 24 cases in which the age ranged from 3 to 55 years. The patients had been ill with poliomyelitis for an average of only 5.5 days, with the duratioin of the

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