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July 1942


Author Affiliations


From the Division of Neurological Surgery of the University of Chicago.

Arch NeurPsych. 1942;48(1):13-29. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1942.02290070023002

Nature's embryologic mistakes allow an opportunity to study the development of the nervous system. When, for some unknown reason, the human brain stops its evolution at a stage in embryonic life, it becomes possible to see certain primordial characteristics of the brain structure. A state in the development of the human brain at which arrest is rarely seen is represented by lissencephaly,1 or agyria. It is the usual condition of the adult brain of reptiles and lower animals but is not seen in the primates, of which even the lowest representatives have some evidence of fissuration of the cerebral cortex.

The following case of this anomaly in a child is reported.


History.  —N. E. was delivered by low forceps and episiotomy of a primipara after a forty week gestation. Her weight at birth was 3,565 Gm. She breathed spontaneously. The maternal and paternal histories were

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