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December 10, 1960

BELL'S PALSY

Author Affiliations

2101 16th St., N. W. Washington 9, D. C.

JAMA. 1960;174(15):1993. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030150081025

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  Dr. David Cohen's breezy essay in The Journal, Aug. 6, page 1563, entitled "Bell's Palsy—a Medical Emergency," deserves a more receptive audience than subscribers to The Journal. Science fiction readers might appreciate his picturesque notions more than the jaded A. M. A. members. The reader is grandly informed that "an eventful revolution has occurred in the management of Bell's palsy,... yet generations of practitioners have treated Bell's palsy as a condition demanding no immediate active measures, because they did not understand its pathogenesis." After a series of non sequiturs and unfounded speculations, the author urges a vigorous therapeutic attack which could leave a trail of iatrogenic cripples from here to old Olympus' towering tops.And all this for a benign, self-limiting affliction from which about 90% of the patients recover completely. In the experience of most neurologists, the remainder have only minor sequellae. Severe residuals are rare.

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