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September 1927


Author Affiliations

Fellow in Medicine of the National Research Council During a Portion of This Research; BOSTON

From the laboratory of the Department of Neuropathology, Medical School of Harvard University, the Medical Service of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory of the Boston City Hospital. This research was made possible through a grant by the Committee on Epilepsy, New York City. This paper is no. 53 of a series of Studies in Metabolism from the Harvard Medical School and allied hospitals. The expenses have been defrayed in part by a grant from the Proctor Fund of the Harvard Medical School for the study of chronic diseases.

Arch NeurPsych. 1927;18(3):395-413. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1927.02210030075006

The possibility that there may be abnormality in carbohydrate metabolism in persons subject to convulsive disorders is suggested by the fact that convulsions and increased irritability of nerves accompany hypoglycemia produced by insulin in animals, by the reported marked diminution in glycogen content of the brain accompanying convulsions, and by the occasional clinical reports of patients who seemed to be better or worse following variation in the carbohydrate content of the diet. In a previous paper1 we have discussed these considerations, and from a study of 267 patients have concluded that persons suffering from so-called epilepsy present no abnormality in the concentration of glucose in the circulating venous blood and that, in the events which accompany convulsions, blood sugar plays only a passive rôle.

It is possible, however, that blood drawn from a fasting person may show normal concentration of sugar, and yet that there may be distinct abnormality

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