In the first decade of this century Alzheimer1 published his fundamental studies of the histopathology of epilepsy. He described in detail degeneration of the glia characterized by swelling of the cytoplasm of the cells and fragmentation of their processes and designated this type of destruction as "ameboid glia." Alzheimer stated that ameboid disintegration (clasmatodendrosis) was a sign of grave damage to the nerve tissue, that it was commoner in the white matter, and that degeneration of the neurons was less impressive. There was no further progress after the days of Alzheimer because the usefulness of the older technical methods was exhausted.
In recent years new developments permitted a more detailed analysis of this disorder: introduction of electroencephalography, development of surgical therapy, making human biopsy material available, and selective histologic analysis with the silver carbonate methods of del Rio Hortega.
—This investigation is based on human biopsy
SCHARENBERG K. Histopathology of Psychomotor Epilepsy: A Study with Silver Carbonate. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(6):595–604. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330360053004
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.