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Article
August 1, 1959

"Allergic" Encephalomyelitis. Proceedings of a Symposium: Experimental "Allergic" Encephalomyelitis and Its Relation to Other Diseases of Man and Animals

JAMA. 1959;170(14):1752. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010140132035

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Abstract

The concept that allergic inflammation of organs may be the result of intrinsic causes in addition to those of extrinsic origin (pollen, molds, dust, foods, drugs, etc.) has attracted serious investigators, particularly in recent years. This concept presumes that the organism can produce antibodies to one of its own organs or tissues, probably as a result of some previous damage to that organ, such as by infection, drugs, or trauma. It is presumed further that such an antibody then reacts with the specific antigen in the healthy organ, producing an allergic inflammation. Such a mechanism has been demonstrated clinically, notably in certain hematological conditions and eye inflammations, and experimentally in a number of organs, such as testes, adrenals, thyroid, and kidneys, formed blood elements, and the nervous system.

Such a concept, which might possibly explain various types of encephalomyelitis and other demyelinating diseases, has received attention experimentally from a large

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