Acrylamide produces ataxia and limb weakness in rats when given in repeated oral doses of 25 100 mg./kg. at various intervals or mixed with the diet in concentrations of 100 to 400 p.p.m.
An electrophysiological and histological study of peripheral nerves has been carried out in chronical poisoned rats. In animals with severe clinical abnormalities, motor nerve conduction velocity in the fibr supplying the small muscles of the hind paw was reduced to approximately 80% of the control value.
Histologically, degeneration of axis cylinders and myelin sheaths was found in peripheral nerve affecting predominantly the distal parts of the longest fibres.
When paralysed animals were no longer given acrylamide, they recovered clinically, conduction velocity returned to the normal range, and there was histological evidence of regeneration of nerve fibres.