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March 5, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(10):744. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790100042015

The term "epilepsy," derived from the Greek word meaning "a seizure," connotes only the clinical manifestation. Now, after a thousand years, the acquisition of information on the underlying pathologic physiology permits an entirely new concept of this syndrome. Among the investigations responsible for this clarification, those by Gibbs and his colleagues have taken an important place. Their most recent report,1 dealing with the use of the electro-encephalogram, further corroborates the view that an attack of epilepsy is associated with the development of abnormal rhythms in the cerebral cortex and is hence a paroxysmal cerebral dysrhythmia.

Seven new facts about epilepsy seem to have been gained in the past two and one-half years by means of the electro-encephalogram. An epileptic seizure is accompanied by disturbances in the normal electrical activity of the brain or, more exactly, a clinically observed seizure is merely the outward manifestation of a disordered rhythm of

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