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September 8, 1923


Author Affiliations

Instructor in Neurology and Instructor in Roentgenology, Respectively, University of Michigan Medical School ANN ARBOR, MICH.
From the Departments of Neurology and Roentgenology in the Hospital of the University of Michigan.

JAMA. 1923;81(10):813-815. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650100021008

Chronic constipation as an exciting factor is a frequent complaint of patients with epileptiform seizures. It is noted by clinicians that attacks may be controlled or decreased in frequency by careful catharsis.1 Whether constipation is an exciting cause of the attacks in patients with epilepsy is not known as an established fact. Numerous cases have been reported in which patients have been entirely relieved of their seizures following surgical procedure, i. e., colostomy,2 the operation being indicated by the findings of chronic colonic stasis, or by daily rectal injections. It therefore seemed desirable to study the amount of colonic stasis found in a series of epileptic patients entering the University Hospital for treatment. These were, so far as any gastro-intestinal symptoms were concerned, entirely unselected. The findings were distinctly surprising, and cast doubt on the rationality of indiscriminate gastro-intestinal operations in these cases.

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