When, in 1907, Jelliffe published his admirable paper on "The Signs of Predementia Præcox: Their Significance and Pedagogic Prophylaxis,"1 he was not directing attention to a newly discovered mental condition. We were all familiar with the fact that dementia præcox frequently developed in a soil which had apparently been prepared to receive it. The chief merit in his paper lay in the great hopefulness with which he treated the subject and I know that he instilled in me a less pessimistic view of early eases of dementia præcox.
It is generally admitted, I think, that dementia præcox may occur in an individual who is predisposed by defective development, or, it may occur in a normal, or even exceptionally brilliant, person after some physical stress, such as typhoid. To denote these conditions De Sanctis has proposed the terms "comitans" and "subsequens." In Dr. Jelliffe's paper the impression is given that
DUNTON WR. PREDEMENTIA PRÆCOX. JAMA. 1912;LIX(25):2206-2208. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270140010003