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August 24, 1963


JAMA. 1963;185(8):661. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060080057017

A previously unreported neurological syndrome with periodic manifestations has recently been described by Farmer and Mustian.1 This familial disorder is characterized by the initial development in early adult life of attacks of vertigo, diplopia, and ataxia. Some patients experience a slowly progressive cerebellar disease which may produce motor incapacity eventually. Sixteen members of a rural North Carolina family were affected with this disorder; the age at onset of attacks varied from 23 to 42 years. The appearance of the trait late in life indicates "that the inherited abnormality involves a mechanism which gradually produces an anatomical or biochemical disorder to the extent that it becomes recognizable clinically."1 Attacks varied in duration from a few minutes to two months. Sometimes brief attacks occurred daily, but at other times intervals as long as a year or more separated the episodes. Two subjects were observed during attacks. In one instance the

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