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August 1968


Arch Neurol. 1968;19(2):229-232. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00480020115013

The medulla oblongata, as the borderland between the brain and spinal cord, has a double character even in pathologic states. On one hand, we have recognized in the medulla hemorrhages and malacia that completely resemble those in the rest of the brain. On the other hand, the medulla differs from the brain in that, like the gray substance of the anterior horns of the spinal cord, the gray floor of the fourth ventricle, and especially its motor nuclei, is the favorite site for independent disease processes of possible inflammatory origin, which are analogous only to poliomyelitis. As far as this analogy applies, one can speak of a polioencephalitis with the same variations of its course that are characteristic of poliomyelitis: viz.; a chronically progressive form, Duchenne's disease; an acute form, the so called acute bulbar paralysis; and a subacute, rarer form, which corresponds to a rare form of poliomyelitis.

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