June 1959


Author Affiliations

By Manfred Sakel, M.D. Price, $5. Pp. 204, with no illustrations. Philosophical Library, Inc., 15 E. 40th St., New York 16, 1958.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(6):1012. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270060164036

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This book is a rather disconnected arrangement of facts and speculations about epilepsy. Part II, "Theory and Proposed Method of Curing Epilepsy," occupies eighty-five pages and represents the aftermath of Sakel's demonstration, some twenty-five years ago, that induced hypoglycemia would often profoundly improve the mental state of the schizophrenic. Physiologists as well as patients have benefited from the studies that Sakel's work inspired. His speculations with respect to epilepsy now appear as reiterated ideas, such as the following ones:

"Since the early insulin convulsion resembles the idiopathic epileptic convulsion in its clinical details, it is suggested that their mechanisms may be the same and that their purposes are identical. Both act to preserve the hormonal, chemical and biological integrity of the individual by stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.... The type of convulsion is the outcome of the fight for supremacy between the vagus, externally overstimulated by insulin, and the

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