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February 1938

MENTAL GROWTH OF EPILEPTIC CHILDREN

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK
From the New York City Children's Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1938;55(2):295-303. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1938.01980080066004
Abstract

Whatever the intellectual endowment of an epileptic child, his mental growth is retarded more often than it is accelerated. This clinical dictum raises several questions regarding the mechanism of the disease which are significant in developmental supervision. 1. Does mental deterioration form a part of epilepsy? 2. Does the initial intelligence determine the alteration in the mental state? 3. Does reduction in the number of seizures raise the mental capacity? 4. Does improvement in the epileptic condition enhance mental control? 5. Does the age condition the change in mental status? The answers were tentatively obtained from clinical and psychologic studies of 129 epileptic children selected from about 1,700 institutionalized children, and of 91 children from private practice who were studied in hospitals and special schools.

DISTRIBUTION OF CASES  The diagnosis of epilepsy was derived from detailed physical, neurologic and psychologic examinations of the patient. It was based on the medical

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