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May 1956

Experimental Subcortical Epilepsy

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Neurological Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University Medical School.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;75(5):548-562. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330230098013

INTRODUCTION  The observation that focal seizures occurred in the limbs contralateral to a hemispherectomy led to the supposition that subcortical nuclei might be responsible for some localized convulsions. This was not a new idea, for a century ago the brain stem was considered the anatomical site of the epilepsies and Hughlings Jackson,13 in 1868, "believed the corpus striatum to be the part discharged in convulsions beginning unilaterally." In the subsequent years, stimulation of the cerebral cortex was found to produce such a galaxy of fascinating responses that attention was focused upon the cortex as the origin of focal attacks. As knowledge of the cortical seizures accumulated, it became evident that the cortex did not contain the entire solution to the riddle of the epilepsies.The present study was planned to investigate the characteristics of seizures produced by subcortical irritation. It was recognized that electrical stimulation involved the possibility of

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