It is only within comparatively recent times, especially in England, that a distinct place in the nosological classification of diseases of the spinal cord has been granted to ataxic paraplegia, and that it has been separated, on the one hand, from spastic paraplegia, and on the other from ataxic tabes. Ross† classifies it as a compound form of lateral sclerosis, and Bramwell† mentions it as owing its origin to an occasional extension of the lesion from the postero-external columns in locomotor ataxia, while Erb (Ziemssen's “Cyclopædia”) regards it as tabes complicated by lesion of the lateral columns, or lateral sclerosis complicated by lesion of the posterior columns, according to the preponderance of the symptoms of one or other disease. On the other hand, the most recent English work on diseases of the spinal cord, that of Gowers,§ devotes a separate section to the consideration of the affection, while on the Continent, especially in Germany and France, it has attracted considerable attention. In the “Archives de Neurologie” for March, May, and July of last year, a detailed description of the symptomatology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment, with a tabulated résumé of 33 cases followed by autopsy, described by various French and German authors, is given by Grasset.
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