Forty-five necropsied cases with primary degeneration of lower motor neurones are described and discussed. Of these, 36 are considered to be `typical' cases of motor neurone disease, eight of which showed no upper motor neurone lesions. The relation of the nine `atypical' cases to the remainder is discussed. It is concluded that motor neurone disease constitutes an ill-defined band in a broad spectrum of multiple system atrophies. The authors have found no evidence suggesting a causal relation between motor neurone disease and either vascular or malignant diseases. They point out suggestive analogies with various subacute encephalomyelopathies in man and other animals.
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