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November 1958

Comments and Observations on Psychogenic Hypersomnia

Author Affiliations

Saskatoon, Sask.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(5):619-624. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340110089015

The distinction between short and long sleeps has been held to be an arbitrary one, and, indeed, Wilson42 took Gowers23 to task for restricting the term narcolepsy to cases in which a "definite brief sleep interrupts a normal state." A few others have followed Wilson in including hypersomnic states with the narcolepsies. Thus Notkin and Jelliffe29 did so and in their review included 64 cases of hypersomnia arising on a psychopathological basis, although they admitted that such cases might be of a different nature. Most authors, however, consider that the hypersomnias are strikingly different from true narcolepsy.

Prolonged sleep, of course, may occur in organic brain disease especially, though not exclusively, in lesions involving the hypothalamus.8-12 There is also a large number of papers dealing with prolonged sleep arising on an emotional basis, especially in the older literature3,5,6,14,16,19-21,24-27,31,33,37,39,40 A careful examination of most of these

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