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October 31, 1959

Hereditary Transient Paralysis with Special Reference to the Metabolism of Potassium: Familial Periodic Paralysis, Familial Episodic Adynamia. By Uffe Sagild. [Thesis, M.D., University of Copenhagen

JAMA. 1959;171(9):1271-1272. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010270107030

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Recent work on electrolyte balance has focused attention on potassium, the element which is of central interest in the present book. Of the two types of muscular weakness he describes, one can be induced by giving potassium chloride. The other, when it occurs, is remedied by the same drug. The value of this book lies mainly in the numerous chemical determinations of the potassium content of the blood and urine and in the application of tracer techniques (by means of radioactive potassium [K42] ) to determine the amount of exchangeable potassium and the rate of exchange between injected K42 and body potassium. In addition there has been an extensive investigation of the genetic background of the author's patients, so that in one instance it was discovered that two apparently distinct pedigrees were linked more than 200 years ago. Patients temporarily paralyzed by hypopotassemia have been falsely accused of malingering.

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