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September 1927


Author Affiliations

Fellow in Medicine of the National Research Council during the greater portion of this research; BOSTON

From the Department of Neuropathology, Harvard Medical School, the Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Boston City Hospital. This research was made possible through a grant by the Committee on Epilepsy, New York City. This paper is no. 51 of a series of studies in metabolism from the Harvard Medical School and allied hospitals. The expenses have been defrayed in part by a grant from the Proctor Fund of the Harvard Medical School for the study of chronic diseases.

Arch NeurPsych. 1927;18(3):383-394. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1927.02210030063005

When sufficient insulin is administered to cause the sugar content of the blood to fall sharply to the vicinity of from 45 to 50 mg. per hundred cubic centimeters of blood, a severe reaction usually ensues. In animals, this reaction is accompanied by motor phenomena that are usually described as convulsions. Such convulsions are presumed to be the direct result of the existing hypoglycemia. Furthermore, various authors1 have found that, under electrical stimulus, irritability of the nerve increases when the blood sugar has been lowered with insulin. These facts raise the question whether persons who are subject to recurring convulsions show abnormal concentration of sugar in the blood.

The observations so far reported are without much value because of the small number of patients examined. Thus, Heidema2 found hyperglycemia in two of five epileptic patients. Normal values were obtained by Kooy3 in eight patients and by Weston