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June 13, 1936

Current Comment

JAMA. 1936;106(24):2073. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770240037016

OXYGEN AND SEIZURES OF EPILEPSY  In the majority of patients having frequent attacks of petit mal, seizures can be consistently induced by anoxemia. Analyses of the respired air of epileptic patients during an attack have shown that the oxygen content is decreased from the normal of approximately 14 per cent to from 8 to 12 per cent. Unconsciousness occurs in normal persons when the oxygen content is reduced to about 7 per cent. As a low oxygen tension precipitates seizures in epileptic patients, a high oxygen tension might prevent or at least lessen the frequency of attacks. This possible effect of oxygen has been recently subjected to experimental study.1 The patients used for the investigation were three young women who were having numerous attacks of petit mal daily and with whom experience over a period of years had demonstrated that seizures invariably followed either the breathing of an oxygen-poor

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