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April 1957

Masked Epilepsy

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(4):390. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330340066010

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This short book, of 51 pages, can be read in one to one and a half hours. The theory is advanced that in children episodes of abdominal pain, vomiting, pyrexia, headache, sleep disturbances, somnambulism, and behavior disorders may be various forms of seizure disorders. There are 31 case reports in the book. Sixteen patients (about 1% of new patients seen by the author between 1951 and 1954) are described as having "masked epilepsy," i. e., manifestations of seizures other than those of convulsions or unconsciousness.

The flurry of controversy surrounding this subject is reflected in several references to other workers' criticism of the author's premise. The author answers these criticisms in a very direct manner, but, owing to the small number of observations made and the difficulty which often exists in proving the existence of a seizure disorder, many of these answers are undocumented. The opinion that headaches, sleep disturbances,

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