The facility with which a number of substances, such as absinthe, cocaine, alcohol, acid fuchsin, picrotoxin, caffeine and many others, will produce convulsions is well known. Some of them are used in experiments on animals, while others, such as ergot and alcohol, give rise to convulsions in man. All these substances belong to the exogenous group of convulsant agents. It is probable that there are a considerable number of toxins of endogenous origin that may give rise to convulsions. Convulsions are one of the most striking symptoms in uremia and eclampsia. In these conditions they may be associated with a high concentration of nitrogen in the blood of the patient, but the actual convulsant agent is unknown. The problem in so-called "idiopathic" epilepsy is difficult. The term idiopathic is not a good one, since it indicates that the disease is its own pathologic process. Great efforts have been made, particularly
PIKE FH, OSNATO M, NOTKIN J. THE COMBINED ACTION OF SOME CONVULSANT AGENTS IN SMALL DOSES AND THE ACTION OF BROMIDES IN EXPERIMENTALLY INDUCED CONVULSIONS. Arch NeurPsych. 1931;25(6):1306–1314. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1931.02230060150009
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