It has long been stated that in epilepsy the chlorides in the body bear a relationship to seizures. In the arguments concerning this theory, chloride has been considered in two aspects: (1) as a conductor of electricity and (2) in its other physicochemical relations.
The first conception is largely speculative. The steps in the argument, baldly expressed, are somewhat as follows: Nerve cells are storage batteries. Convulsions result from an explosive discharge of these cell batteries. Such a discharge and the subsequent passage of the nervous impulse are facilitated if the salt content of the tissues is high. The principal salt of the body is sodium chloride; therefore, in epileptic patients the accumulation of chloride in the tissues and particularly in the brain may result in seizures. This analogy of the cortical motor cells to an electric storage battery that periodically "builds up" and discharges is used to explain the
LENNOX WG, ALLEN MB. STUDIES IN EPILEPSY: X. THE CHLORIDE CONTENT OF THE BLOOD AND SPINAL FLUID. Arch NeurPsych. 1930;23(3):525–530. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1930.02220090116008
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