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February 1944

RELATION OF NARCOLEPSY TO THE EPILEPSIESA CLINICAL-ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC STUDY

Author Affiliations

MEDICAL CORPS, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES

From the Blackburn Laboratory, St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D. C.

Arch NeurPsych. 1944;51(2):163-170. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1944.02290260053005
Abstract

In Wilson's1 classic discussion of the narcolepsies strong evidence is produced to justify their inclusion in the family of the epilepsies. Adie2 earlier postulated, on the basis of his clinical observations, that narcolepsy is a disease entity. In recent years electroencephalography, which has proved to be of much value in the study of the epilepsies, has been focused on the problem of narcolepsy in an attempt to resolve the impassé resulting from these two clinical schools of thought.

Electroencephalographic observations3 are unanimous as to the occurrence of various stages of "sleep waves" during the sleep component of the narcoleptic seizure. In early sleep, whether physiologic or narcoleptic, the characteristic electroencephalographic pattern is of the low amplitude, high frequency (18 to 25 waves per second) type; as sleep progresses slow wave discharges dominate the record. In deeper sleep 14 per second discharges are recognized as a transient phenomenon.

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