Document Detail

Royal Free epidemic of 1955: a reconsideration.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  5411611     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
From a re-analysis of the case notes of patients with Royal Free disease it is concluded that there is little evidence of an organic disease affecting the central nervous system and that epidemic hysteria is a much more likely explanation. The data which support this hypothesis are the high attack rate in females compared with males; the intensity of the malaise compared with the slight pyrexia; the presence of subjective features similar to those seen in a previous epidemic of hysterical overbreathing; the glove-and-stocking distribution of the anaesthesia; and the normal findings in special investigations. Finally, a deliberate attempt by one of the authors to produce an electromyographic record similar to that reported in Royal Free disease was successful.
C P McEvedy; A W Beard
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British medical journal     Volume:  1     ISSN:  0007-1447     ISO Abbreviation:  Br Med J     Publication Date:  1970 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1970-03-05     Completed Date:  1970-03-05     Revised Date:  2010-10-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372673     Medline TA:  Br Med J     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  7-11     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Disease Outbreaks*
Fever / epidemiology
Hypesthesia / epidemiology
Hysteria / complications,  epidemiology*
Neurologic Manifestations
Paralysis / epidemiology
Paresthesia / epidemiology*
Psychophysiologic Disorders / epidemiology*
Sex Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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