[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 4, 1948

EPILEPSY IN CHILDHOOD: Newer Methods of Diagnosis and Treatment

JAMA. 1948;138(14):1012-1019. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900140004002

Recent publicity to the laity by well meaning persons concerning the advances in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy has evoked some unfortunate reactions. Parents in desperate search of the "miracle treatment" have been given false hopes and dissatisfaction with usually adequate treatment or the best treatment available. The family physician who treats most of the cases of epilepsy and usually sees them first has properly resented the challenge to his familiarity with the recent developments in the study of the disease. Advertisements of "83 per cent improvement" in epilepsy and of "the hopeful disorder" offer false encouragement and lead to cruel disillusionment even though they quote learned authorities. For these reasons I have considered it timely to restate known facts concerning the cause of epilepsy and to review the advances in diagnosis and treatment with the newer drugs.

Our first duty to our patients and to the public is