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October 1937


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Nervous and Mental Diseases, the Northwestern University Medical School.

Arch NeurPsych. 1937;38(4):798-817. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1937.02260220142008

The factor of water balance has received much attention from many investigators of epilepsy and the convulsive state. Rowntree1 produced a condition which he designated as "water intoxication" by administering large amounts of water by stomach tube to various mammals (dog, cat, rabbit, guinea-pig and rat). A prominent feature of this toxic state was the occurrence of convulsions. He regarded such convulsions as the expression of an increase in intracranial pressure arising as a manifestation of disturbance in the salt to water equilibrium of the body and the central nervous system.

The production of convulsions in animals by such forced administration of water suggested a possible disturbance of water balance in epilepsy occurring in man. Temple Fay2 and his co-workers were impressed by the possible significance of disturbed water balance and stated that "the predisposing factor concerned with a major convulsive seizure is due to a hydration state."

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