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April 11, 1959

The Effect of Advancing Age upon the Human Spinal Cord

JAMA. 1959;169(15):1807. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000320109030

It is regrettable when it is not possible to write a favorable review of a book published posthumously. Unfortunately, this book fails in the purpose for which it was written; the changes in the spinal cord which result from advancing age are not presented in an intelligible manner. The material on which this study was based has been poorly chosen. These spinal cords were taken from the bodies of persons who died from a variety of systemic diseases such as rheumatic heart disease, lupus, ulcerative colitis, lymphoblastoma, and uremia. At least two of the patients had a pyramidal tract lesion, and at least one of these was from cerebral infarction. The reader is not informed as to the cause of death in all of the patients, nor is he given any information by means of which he might discriminate between the anatomic changes produced by aging and those resulting from

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