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September 1929

Epilepsy. Harvard Medicine Monographs, volume XIV.

Arch NeurPsych. 1929;22(3):642. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1929.02220030219022

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The authors give a thoughtful presentation of the modern point of view of epilepsy. It is a summary of the work they have done personally, with a consideration of the work of others.

There are four acceptable theories for epilepsy: (1) the irritation theory, based on experiments in electrical excitation and the pathologic changes found in jacksonian epilepsy; (2) the release theory, which holds that convulsions result from the activity of the lower centers, because of suspension of the function of the higher; (3) a short circuit theory, which is allied to the release theory but is more local, and (4) the explosive theory, which holds that seizures arise as a general widespread change in the brain tissue, dependent on some sudden metabolic alteration.

The authors believe that epileptic seizures are neurologic phenomena, usually motor, caused by a sudden change in the nerve cells. The etiologic factors, which might spring

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