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May 1964

Muscular Affections in Chronic Alcoholism

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine IV and Clinical Neurophysiology, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, and the Department of Pathology II, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Arch Neurol. 1964;10(5):449-458. doi:10.1001/archneur.1964.00460170019003

Introduction  A previously unrecognized muscular syndrome in chronic alcoholism was described in 1962.1 The syndrome is characterized by aching, tenderness, and edema in the musculature and develops suddenly after periods of high grade alcoholic abuse. Several patients presented renal damage with hyperpotassemia. Pathological examination demonstrated extensive necrosis of muscular fibers in several cases.The matter of muscular affections in chronic alcoholism evidently has not received its proper attention. We have, therefore, continued to study this problem and examined 14 more persons with a well-documented history of long-standing abuse. Two cases from the previously mentioned work were included for comparison. The study showed that signs of muscular affections were common. The cases can be classed in three groups, as follows:1. The patients have acute signs and symptoms of the type already referred to.2. There are no signs of acute disease but weakness of the proximal limb and girdle