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October 1, 1910


JAMA. 1910;55(14):1195-1196. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330140039011

The term "dementia præcox" is applied to a condition of progressive insanity occurring in young persons, usually between the ages of 18 and 25 years, though occasionally it may be delayed until later in life. This disease, whilst presenting many variations, has been divided into the following groups by Kraepelin: hebephrenia, catatonia, and paranoid dementia, which at times are sharply defined from each other, but sometimes resemble each other so closely that a differentiation is difficult. About 15 per cent, of all cases admitted to institutions for the care of the insane are of this character. It is a chronic form of mental disease, usually beginning insidiously, but sometimes acutely, and generally terminating in complete imbecility. In 70 per cent. of cases there is a history of some hereditary taint; in a few cases a history of trauma or of some infectious disease; in others of overexertion, mental or physical,