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May 27, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(21):1690. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500480038011

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It has been observed that under normal conditions the vibration of a tuning fork applied to various subcutaneous bony prominences and surfaces is appreciable at the point of application and throughout the extent of the bone. The sensation is said to be always present in health and usually absent when other forms of sensation are lost as a result of disease of the nervous system. It may be absent, also, in cases of tabes dorsalis when tactile and thermal sensibility are preserved. In this connection, Dr. R. T. Williamson1 reports the results of a series of observations on persons in health and suffering from divers disorders. He studied 50 healthy persons, 80 suffering from various diseases of the nervous system, 45 suffering from diabetes mellitus, and 75 suffering from other diseases (heart, lungs, abdominal viscera, blood). He was able to confirm the constant presence of the vibrating sensation under normal

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