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In a recent discussion of convulsive manifestations, the question was raised whether such phenomena occur in patients with the cerebral changes due to old age and its common companion arteriosclerosis. Since there was considerable disagreement of opinion and since little factual data could be found concerning this problem, it was thought to be one worthy of investigation.
The records of the McLean Hospital were used. The reports of 100 cases of cerebral arteriosclerosis and senile psychosis—representing two groups of consecutive admissions—were reviewed, with special attention to the nurses' notes.
Fifty-two of the patients were men and 48 women. Seven patients had generalized convulsions, most of which were repeated once or twice during the stay in the hospital. Four of these patients gave a history of cerebral accident at some time before or after the convulsive episode.
Two patients had what were described as "fainting spells," which involved loss of consciousness.
Tompkins JB. CONVULSIVE AND OTHER NEUROLOGIC PHENOMENA APPEARING IN SENILE AND ARTERIOSCLEROTIC PSYCHOSES. Arch NeurPsych. 1939;42(3):513. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270210151008