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December 25, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(13):1144. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130260066014

When McQuarrie1 reported 25 cases of a newly recognized entity which he labeled "idiopathic spontaneously occurring hypoglycemia in infants," he described a clinical picture which was familiar to physicians. Infantile convulsions were not an unusual sight, nor was the frequently resulting brain damage a rare observation. Unless a cause could be found, these convulsions were generally ascribed to epilepsy. McQuarrie's main contribution consisted in drawing attention to hypoglycemia as an important cause of convulsions in infants and to the preponderance of idiopathic hypoglycemia over those secondary to hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenalism, insuloma, and glycogen storage disease. Also important was his demonstration that, while anticonvulsant therapy proved futile, adrenocorticotropic hormones and a regimen of frequent feedings (preferably high in carbohydrate and low in protein) could be of value.

Intrigued by McQuarrie's observation that protein feedings aggravated hypoglycemia in these cases, Cochrane et al2 experimented with various dietary amino acids. They