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October 10, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(15):1079-1080. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730150035015

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Certain diseases that afflict mankind arouse greater distress and thereby greater pity than do others. Epilepsy, known to the ancients as "falling sickness," is of this type. It is not infrequent, yet its manifestations are sufficiently unusual to attract the curiosity of the multitude. Numerous attempts made to relieve the condition have resulted in the development of certain well known drugs of a sedative character which, while controlling the attacks to some extent, nevertheless do not constitute, in any sense of the word, a "cure."

The Bureau of Investigation of the American Medical Association has a pamphlet which lists a considerable number of preparations purveyed directly to the public with outrageously false or indirectly exaggerated claims as to their merits in this disease. Practically all these preparations have in the past been found to contain bromides or phenobarbital (luminal) as their potent ingredients, other medicaments being added merely to mask

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