February 1974

Epileptic Seizures.

Author Affiliations



By Henri Gastaut, MD, and Roger Broughton, MD. Price, $25.50. Pp 286. Charles C Thomas Publisher, 301-327 E Lawrence Ave, Springfield, IL 62703, 1972.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(2):322-323. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320140160031

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Gastaut of Marseilles is the world's leading authority on the phenomenology of epileptic seizures. This book is devoted largely to a detailed and systematic description of epileptic phenomena as he has studied it from the point of view of external phenomena shown by the patient, electroencephalographic correlates during the seizure, and, on occasion, sympathetic nervous system observation such as intravesical pressure, pupillary size, and (for illustrative purposes) electromyography.

The book provides us with a complex classification of epilepsy from the descriptive standpoint, with physiologic mechanisms used more to rationalize the phenomena than to explain; causative factors are given little consideration for purposes of classification. The classification itself is admirable as far as it goes, and it goes very far in its particular direction. In fact the detail (particularly the use of unfamiliar terms) is overly complex; the text should be more concise to suit the average neurologically-oriented reader. With all

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