The frequency with which certain forms of epilepsy go unrecognized for years constitutes a disquieting element in the successful treatment of a disease difficult to cure under the earliest diagnosis.
1. A leading reason why certain types of minor epilepsy are not infrequently overlooked, or, being more or less casually observed, are ignored, is that we, too, often make the mistake of regarding epilepsy as "a disease characterized by tonic or clonic convulsions and followed by loss of consciousness." This faulty definition is rapidly becoming obsolete. I believe a better definition is this:
Epilepsy is a disease or disorder affecting the brain, characterized by recurrent paroxysms, which are abrupt in appearance, variable in duration, but generally short, and in which there is impairment or loss of consciousness, together with impairment or loss of motor co-ordination with or without convulsions.1
The fact that this definition is comprehensive enough to include
SPRATLING WP. UNRECOGNIZED EPILEPSY.. JAMA. 1906;XLVI(10):722-723. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510370028003