Narcolepsy was unknown as a specific pathologic manifestation until 1880, when Gélineau1 described the process and differentiated it clearly from the similar epileptic condition. Since then, practically all efforts to study the disease by laboratory methods have been unproductive, and there has been no evidence of any symptoms other than cataplexy and extreme somnolence. On the basis of observations of the skin resistance of normal subjects, it appeared that some significant data might be gained from an investigation of pathologic sleeping conditions according to the electrical skin resistance method.
From prolonged studies of normal sleep by this method, a few simple facts have been established. It has been found, for instance, that the skin resistance of the palms of the hands increases roughly in proportion to the depth of the sleep, that the increase seems to depend on changes in the activity of the sweat glands, and that sudden
RICHTER CP. PATHOLOGIC SLEEP AND SIMILAR CONDITIONSSTUDIED BY THE ELECTRICAL SKIN RESISTANCE METHOD. Arch NeurPsych. 1929;21(2):363-375. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1929.02210200119009