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Article
August 9, 1952

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF EPILEPTIC AND EPILEPTOID DISORDERS

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif.
From the Department of Physiology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

JAMA. 1952;149(15):1361-1365. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930320001001
Abstract

The subject of epilepsy is important in general practice since a little more than one out of every three private epileptic patients is treated by the general practitioner. The disease is as common as tuberculosis or diabetes. Although accurate descriptions of this disease have been available since biblical times, progress in diagnosis, let alone in treatment, began in reality only in 1870, when Jackson published his study on convulsions. The elusiveness of the diagnosis already plagued the ancient Romans, who were prompted to use tests by which attacks could be provoked artificially in slaves who were on sale. The difficulties of treatment were already known in the 19th century, when Esquirol put three epileptics in the hospital and tried one treatment after another, each different, on the same patient; every treatment was effective for a short time, but none brought about a lasting cure.1 Even though a tremendous amount

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