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Article
December 3, 1898

EPILEPSY AND INSANITY.

JAMA. 1898;XXXI(23):1372-1373. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02450230044006

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Abstract

In the Philadelphia Medical Journal of November 19, Dr. J. H. McBride, the well-known alienist, criticises a statement made in an earlier issue by Dr. Frederick Peterson, that less than 10 per cent. of ordinary epileptics become insane. He holds that a large proportion of the chronic epileptics suffer from a more or less marked condition of dementia, and still more frequently from temporary mental perversions, often dangerous, and there is further a special mental condition characteristic of those afflicted with this disorder or symptoms that might, it would seem, be reckoned as insanity, since, as he says, it puts the great majority of them so far out of relation to their environment as to render them incapable of self support. He believes "that, with rare exceptions, habitual epileptics suffer sooner or later from some degree of mental impairment," not always amounting to insanity, but sufficient to incapacitate them for

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