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October 13, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(15):1184-1188. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210150040001j

Acute non-suppurative encephalitis is neither a rare nor new disease among children. Striking cases, however, are of interest. Attention was first called to this class of cases by Strümpell1 in 1884:

Cerebral palsies in children depend on inflammation of the gray substance of the motor cortex. There is, therefore, an acute polioencephalitis analogous to acute poliomyelitis. Both depend on the same infection which sometimes becomes localized in the brain, sometimes in the cord.

Strümpell's publication aroused much interest and subsequent investigations were made by Bernhardt, Wollenberg, Krast and Möbius in Germany; Marie in France; Ross, Abercrombie, Gowers and Ashby in England; Sachs, Peterson and Osler in the United States.

With the evolution of the subject, it became evident that Strümpell was not entirely correct in the assumption that cerebral palsy in children was due to a single process, but several pathologic changes, such as cerebral hemorrhage, embolism, and thrombosis,