In a recent communication1 Dr. J. Ramsay Hunt described a clinical type of occupation neuritis affecting the deep palmar branch of the ulnar nerve, characterized by a purely motor syndrome, namely, atrophy of the hypothenar and other small muscles of the hand supplied by this nerve. In the present paper I wish to describe and to illustrate a similar motor syndrome, characterized by atrophy of those thenar muscles (abductor, opponens and part of the flexor brevis pollicis) supplied by the median nerve, due, most probably, to compression of this nerve in some part of its course.2 The by no means remote resemblance of these thenar and hypothenar types of atrophy to progressive spinal muscular atrophy, and, in some degree, to toxic degeneration of the lower motor neurons, renders their recognition a matter of some importance. Obviously prognosis and treatment will vary according to the type of pathologic condition
DONLEY JE. PERIPHERAL NEURAL ATROPHY OF THE THENAR MUSCLES. JAMA. 1911;LVI(17):1256–1257. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560170020007
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