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October 6, 1951


Author Affiliations

20 Gloucester St., Boston.

JAMA. 1951;147(6):595. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670230061024

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To the Editor:  —In The Journal, Aug. 11, 1951, the reference given by Dr. Hammes to the first description of periodic paralysis in 1727, by Musgrave of London, is of some interest. I have recently had occasion to read the original as presented to the Royal Society (Musgrave, W.: A Periodical Palsy: Philosophical Transactions and Collections, to the End of the Year 1700, edited by John Lowthorp, London, 1705. Vol. 3, pp. 33-34). Dr. Musgrave saw his patient, a girl aged 21, first in August, 1687, again in July, 1688, and during the summer of 1689, but he lost track of her the next year; by 1698, when he reported her case, he had heard nothing more.In the first attack she lost sensation, speech, and the use of her legs and paralysis developed. There was a violent cramp in one leg. In three days she could speak; later she

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