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May 5, 1956

Practical Neurology

JAMA. 1956;161(1):115. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970010117041

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Two neurosurgeons have written a compendium of practical neurology. The reader may wonder whether a clinical neurologist could not have been found for the job. The senior author, a pupil of Cushing, is an outstanding neurosurgeon and neuroroentgenologist. Although the neurosurgical part is excellent, the clinical part is not. Here one feels that old editions of well-known textbooks have stood as godfathers at the compilation of the work. There are many inaccuracies, particularly striking in such a small guide. Hoffmann's sign is described under "superficial reflexes" (page 41). In a work written in 1956 there is no place for a "radial and ulnar periosteal [!] reflex" (page 40). One should not speak of abdominal reflexes, but a strict distinction should be made between cutaneous and muscular abdominal reflexes. One cannot say that in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis "the abdominal... reflexes usually disappear" (page 359). This happens only to the cutaneous abdominal reflexes,

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