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October 1959

Long Survival After Unilateral Stab Wound of Medulla with Unusual Pyramidal Tract Distribution

Author Affiliations

From the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University and Cook County Hospital.

AMA Arch Neurol. 1959;1(4):427-434. doi:10.1001/archneur.1959.03840040071003

This paper is a report of a freakish and tragic experiment of nature, presenting us with an opportunity to study the effects of an incomplete hemisection of the medulla oblongata in man with long survival. The resulting patterns of secondary degeneration in the neuraxis form an interesting complement to the neuroanatomical studies of a bygone era at the dawn of this century, and tend to validate Dejerine's thesis1 that there may be considerable variation in the distribution of the spinal pyramidal tracts. This becomes all the more intriguing because of the accumulating evidence and pronouncements2-4 to the effect that our time-honored concepts of the pyramidal tract are in serious need of revision.

Report of a Case  On June 19, 1950, a 27-year-old waiter was repeatedly stabbed with a paring knife, one blow driving the blade through the foramen magnum into the right posterior cranial fossa. The blade was

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