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May 8, 1937

HEREDITARY FACTORS IN EPILEPSY: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DETERIORATED AND NONDETERIORATED PATIENTS

Author Affiliations

CHICAGO

From the Department of Nervous and Mental Diseases, Northwestern University Medical School, and the Minnie Frances Kleman Memorial Fund.

JAMA. 1937;108(19):1599-1601. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780190015006
Abstract

In attempts to unearth the etiologic basis of epilepsy no subject has been more thoroughly scrutinized than the rôle of heredity, and it may appear late in the day to add another contribution on this subject. Our reason for so doing is that a review of the literature has convinced us that such studies have only partial value because they have been based in almost all instances on institutional, deteriorated patients. Writers on the heredity of epilepsy have been mainly workers in hospitals and colonies, who had access only to epileptic patients sent there on account of deterioration or other psychosis, and there are good reasons for believing that these constitute a minority, perhaps a small minority, of persons with epilepsy. Since the studies of most writers were circumscribed by institution walls, the vast number of nondeteriorated persons with epilepsy who successfully adjust in the outside world have escaped observation

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