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May 21, 1982

Doyle on Tabes Dorsalis

JAMA. 1982;247(19):2659. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320440011008

To the Editor.—  Rodin and Key (1982; 247:646) are to be commended for unearthing the unpublished thesis of Arthur Conan Doyle concerning tabes dorsalis. If, as they say, Doyle's misconceptions of the pathogenesis of tabes are to be faulted, it is because his thesis is based on a review of the literature rather than on personal investigation. However, their remarks on the anatomy and pathophysiology of tabes dorsalis are not even similarly predicated on a review of the literature, to say nothing of their own personal investigation.I know of no major current textbook of neuroanatomy that describes the fasciculi cuneatus et gracilis as conveying sensation of movement and tactile sensibility to the cerebellum. There is no modern experimental or clinical material that equates the thalamus with consciousness, as contrasted apparently with the cerebellum and no consciousness. Certainly, stereotactic lesions have been made in both thalami without causing perversion of