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December 14, 1963


JAMA. 1963;186(11):1015. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710110067015

Although there have been numerous studies and L reports on somnambulism in children, sleepwalking in late adolescence and adulthood has been relatively ignored. Few psychiatrists have occasion to evaluate somnambulists in these later age groups. The military psychiatrist, however, has an opportunity not often afforded those in civilian practice: In the armed forces, somnambulism is regarded as medically disqualifying because of the possibility of self-injury.

In the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, Sours, Frumkin, and Indermill1 report on a comprehensive study of 14 naval and marine somnambulists referred for psychiatric evaluation to the US Naval School of Aviation Medicine, Pensacola, Fla. These investigators present clinical and psychological data which strongly suggest that somnambulism of late adolescents and adults is frequently a symptom of psychopathology indicating ego disorganization and severe regression. Of the sleepwalkers studied, all males, 35% were overt schizophrenics and 28% were markedly schizoid in

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