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December 17, 1949


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

From the Department of Medicine, Wadsworth General Hospital, United States Veterans' Administration Center.

JAMA. 1949;141(16):1130-1132. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02910160020005

A large number of young men were given medical discharges from the armed services during World War II because of convulsive seizures. Many of these men were stationed in malarial areas at the time of onset of their seizures, and some of them have had recurrent attacks of malaria. Because Plasmodium is often not considered in the differential diagnosis of agents which can produce cerebral damage with convulsive manifestations, the following discussion and case reports are presented.

Cerebral pathologic change caused by Plasmodium falciparum is a well known entity. It is only in recent years that the agent of tertian malaria, Plasmodium vivax, has been established etiologically with dysfunction of the central nervous system.1

Malaria may resemble many other disease entities, with symptoms referable to any part of the body. The diagnosis is often missed because of the failure of the disease to conform to the usual pattern. The

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