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October 1960

The Degenerative Back and Its Differential Diagnosis.

Arch Neurol. 1960;3(4):472-473. doi:10.1001/archneur.1960.00450040122019

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This rather extensive, opinionated analysis of the "degenerative back" embodies the author's wealth of clinical experience combined with his survey of the literature. In the first third of the book the author, a Dutch neurosurgeon, attempts to define what he means by the "degenerative back" and includes a discussion of the various causes of a "weak back," the relationship of so-called "constitutional factors," and the significance of abnormal movements. In the latter two-thirds, he compares his own ideas concerning symptomatology and differential diagnosis with those presented in the literature he surveyed. In this discussion he goes into a rather detailed analysis of the neurological aspects, including organic and psychological predisposing factors. This is followed by a discussion of the spinal fluid, radiological examination, and a final chapter on management.

The author should be commended on a number of points. He presents an excellent comprehensive analysis of specific anatomical factors in

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