To the pathologist and clinical observer, acute ascending paralysis is a malady of more than ordinary interest. For nearly fifty years it has been known and studied, yet little light has been thrown on the essential pathologic process which is the basis of this remarkable disorder. Since Landry, in 1859, wrote his classic treatise on the subject, many efforts have been made to work out a solution of the perplexing problem, but with far from uniform results. Reasoning from the association of a flaccid paralysis, with preserved electric irritability and absence of trophic symptoms, Gowers advanced the theory of a toxin acting on the arborizations of the pyramidal fibers in the anterior horns of the spinal cord in a manner analogous to the effect of curare on motor-nerve terminations in muscle. This hypothesis, however, has never been reinforced by the conclusions of other investigators.
There are good grounds for believing
McGREGOR R. LANDRY'S PARALYSIS.WITH REPORT OF CASE. JAMA. 1905;XLV(24):1777–1779. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.52510240007001c
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