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December 1951


Author Affiliations


AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;66(6):714-721. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320120047006

BEFORE the functions of the parathyroids and their role in the pathogenesis of parathyroid tetany were known, Mikulicz1 (1886) and Hoffmann2 (1888) had reported cases in which thyroidectomy was followed by typical attacks of epilepsy alternating with tetany. Kraepelin3 (1890) also reported a case of postoperative epilepsy but did not mention symptoms of tetany. Many papers on the subject were published later, and at present over 100 cases are recorded in the literature. After it had been proved that parathyroid insufficiency was the cause of postoperative tetany, the problem of a possible relation between tetany and epilepsy arose in those cases in which both syndromes were present. Two sets of opinions were current. According to Sachs4 (1926) and Kalischer5 (1926), tetany and epilepsy are two separate diseases, which happen to occur simultaneously in the patient, without there being any causal relation between them. On the

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