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April 15, 1974


Author Affiliations

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science Philadelphia

JAMA. 1974;228(3):288. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230280016013

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To the Editor.—  In December 1971, E. G. Dimond made reference to research in China on the use of securinine in the treatment of poliomyelitis (218:1552, 1971). Spurred by this reference, we obtained a small amount of the drug and treated one case of amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with securinine (Pa Med 76:36, 1973). Subsequently, with the permission of the Food and Drug Administration (IND 8929), the drug was administered to eight additional patients, affording us sufficient experience to report our impressions.We do not believe that securinine has any significant effect on the progression of ALS. Not one of our patients experienced a remission, nor did any of our patients show a substantial slowing of the rate of progression. In this respect, our experience probably is in agreement with what must have been the negative experience of the Russian investigators who discovered the drug and who make no reference