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August 1936

INSULIN HYPOGLYCEMIA IN EPILEPSY

Author Affiliations

With the Technical Assistance of RUTH BOLTON, A.B. LOS ANGELES

From the Neurologic Service of Dr. Samuel D. Ingham, University of Southern California School of Medicine.

Arch NeurPsych. 1936;36(2):331-341. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1936.02260080103006
Abstract

In this study epileptic patients were given injections of insulin for the purpose of determining the rôle of hypoglycemia in precipitating seizures. Reports of many studies have appeared in the literature suggesting that epileptic attacks may be due to hypoglycemia. On the whole, the evidence has been indirect and not conclusive. Recent clinical knowledge of hyperinsulinism and other types of hypoglycemia has aroused attention anew to this problem. Harris1 reported three cases of hyperinsulinism and collected reports of twelve others (twelve of fifty recorded cases) in which convulsions were the predominant symptom. In several of these cases a diagnosis of epilepsy was made at first.

The injection of insulin is known to induce convulsions in several species of animals. In fact, insulin was formerly assayed in rabbits by this method. Convulsions resulting from an overdose of insulin are of infrequent occurrence in adult human beings. Still, if hypoglycemia bears

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