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August 1966

Spinal Cord Ischemia Due to Arteriosclerosis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neuropathology, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford.

Arch Neurol. 1966;15(2):189-202. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470140079011

THE DISORDERS of the spinal cord which are encountered in old age have many causes, and not all of these can be determined precisely. We can at once separate distinctive diseases such as motor neuron disease and subacute combined degeneration, but clearly defined neurological disorders only account for a proportion of the cases of paraparesis seen among senescent patients.1 Even such a well-recognized condition as cervical spondylosis may require necropsy confirmation before the myelopathy can be attributed with certainty to the bony and cartilaginous deformity.2 The subject is even more confused by the coexistence in this group of patients of the involutional processes of the nervous system which are the normal accompaniment of ageing.

The place of arteriosclerosis in the pathogenesis of some of these cases is a matter of considerable importance because this generalized cardiovascular disease is common in elderly patients. Its effect on the brain

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