Medicine: Tightrope Doctor

From the hazards of embryonic life or the rough passage of birth, one out of some 1,000 children emerges with certain motor centres of his brain seriously damaged. If he matures, his central nervous system remains in an infantile state, like a telephone switchboard with crossed wires. Bombarded by sense impulses, he always gets the wrong number—brings the wrong muscles into play. Such children are victims of spastic paralysis. In walking, their toes scrape the ground, their legs cross in a scissors bend, and the touch of a finger may send them sprawling.

Although some of them drool like idiots, spastic children...

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