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April 1960

Postencephalitic Blepharospasm

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich.
From the Department of Neurology, University of Michigan Medical Center.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;63(4):692-697. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.00950020694012

This report will review briefly certain clinical aspects of postencephalitic blepharospasm and describe the pathologic changes in the brain of a 61-year-old man with this condition. Ocular symptoms and signs, such as diplopia, pupillary changes, loss of convergence, and oculogyric crises, are not uncommon features of postencephalitic Parkinsonism. In 1921, Apert and Vallery-Radot1 reported blepharospasm as a complication of encephalitis lethargica. Since that time there have been several reports of postencephalitic blepharospasm, but the neuropathologic changes accompanying this symptom have not been studied in detail.

Blepharospasm was reported long before its occasional association with postencephalitic Parkinsonism was apparent.2 In most instances the symptom was considered to be of psychogenic origin. Although it is well known that encephalitis existed prior to the great epidemic of lethargic encephalitis of 1919-1926, it is not possible to determine whether in any of the early cases there was any relationship between a possible

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