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February 9, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(6):390-391. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600060036017

The much-mooted question as to whether there is a direct connection between feeblemindedness and epilepsy was the subject of a recent investigation by the Bureau of Analysis and Investigation, of the New York State Board of Charities. This study,1 which was begun among the inmates of Craig Colony, showed that 57 per cent, of the cases of epilepsy developed in stock clearly recognized as feebleminded, and 97 per cent, developed in neuropathic stock. In the study of nineteen epileptic families, it was found that feeblemindedness was about 3.6 times as common among epileptic families as epilepsy itself. Further evidence is presented to show that epilepsy, if it may not be directly inherited, is widely scattered through the ancestry of these institutional defectives. The whole report makes it clear that epilepsy and feeblemindedness must be studied together.

The tendency of disease and crime to run in families is well illustrated