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June 1936


Author Affiliations


From the Institute of Neurology, Northwestern University Medical School.

Arch NeurPsych. 1936;35(6):1175-1197. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1936.02260060017001

A somnolent state, characterized by loss of voluntary motion and sensibility, and a peculiar plasticity of the muscles are the cardinal features of catalepsy. The plastic condition of the muscles makes it possible to mold the limbs and body into odd postures which can be retained for long periods. Experiments on cats in which these symptoms have been produced by lesions at the base of the brain in the region of transition between the forebrain and the midbrain have shown that there is no binding relationship between the depth of the somnolence and the ease with which the animals can be made to assume and maintain unusual postures. In the monkey we have found it easy to produce somnolence but not true catalepsy. On the other hand, plasticity is easily produced in cats, but in these animals it is extremely difficult to tell whether the immobility and posturing are accompanied

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