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October 1948


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois College of Medicine, and the Illinois Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Arch NeurPsych. 1948;60(4):331-339. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1948.02310040002001

TYPES OF PAROXYSMAL SYNDROMES  WHEN a large, unselected group of epileptic patients is studied and the scope of the study is sufficiently broad to include clinical, electroencephalographic, anatomophysiologic and pharmacologic correlates, three major types of paroxysmal syndromes are distinguishable,1 namely, convulsions, petit mal seizures and psychomotor seizures. The recognition of these three types of seizures does not exclude others, and doubtless subclassification is desirable; but the present distinctions are real and of practical importance.2

Convulsions.  —These are common at all ages; they may be generalized or focal; they are associated with a sequence of fast spikes in the electroencephalogram1a; they are benefited by diphenylhydantoin sodium U. S. P. (dilantin®)3 and methylphenylethyl hydantoin4 (mesantoin®), two drugs which frequently make petit mal worse; they are also benefited by phenobarbital,5 which rarely prevents petit mal and often increases psychomotor seizures.5

Petit Mal Seizures (pyknoleptic 

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