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Notwithstanding the progress that has been made within the last decade regarding the physiology and anatomy of the spinal cord, as well as the pathology and the pathologic anatomy belonging to the diseases of this organ, much obscurity remains. Many of the diseases of the spinal cord are not rapidly fatal, so that an opportunity for post-mortem examination can not be had at a period when the symptoms would suggest most strongly the desirability of such an examination. An autopsy in many cases is only available after the symptoms have advanced to such a degree owing to the extensive organic changes which have taken place, that examination of the cord at this period is of very little value in discovering the minute pathologic changes which may have given rise to the earlier symptoms. Nothing remains, however, at present but for clinicians to go on carefully reporting irregular and anomalous cases
BROWN S. FUNCTIONAL SPINAL PARALYSIS. JAMA. 1895;XXIV(7):225–228. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430070001001
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