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March 1957

Fatal Atherosclerotic Encephalomalacia in a Young Man

Author Affiliations

Emory University, Ga.

Trainee, National Cancer Institute, Department of Health, Education and Welfare.; From the Department of Pathology, Emory University Hospital, and Emory University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(3):481-484. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260030163016

Vascular lesions of atherosclerosis are frequently noted in young persons. These lesions, although small, may assume clinical importance when they occur in certain strategic locations. Attention has been called to the significant incidence of myocardial infarction in young men.1,2 Encephalomalacia subsequent to atherosclerosis of the cerebral vessels, however, appears to be a distinctly rare occurrence in patients below the age of 40, and few autopsy reports are available.

Report of Case  A 28-year-old white man, a warehouse worker, was well until the morning of May 12, 1955, when he developed a slight right temporal headache. He performed manual labor throughout the day and that evening suddenly experienced marked dizziness associated with an increase in the right temporal pain. Within a few minutes he developed complete paralysis of the left arm and leg as well as slurring of speech. He was admitted to a local hospital.Fifteen years previously the

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