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December 5, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(23):1946-1954. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410230032001i

I wish particularly to preface this paper by the statement that my remarks apply to paresis in childhood and are based on a study of the disease at this period of life.

Paretic dementia, having its onset previous to the age of 16 years is, if one may judge from the space given to the subject in the text-books, of great rarity; and we find, in fact, that previous to the last fifteen years the paucity of cases reported in the literature seems to have justified the scanty attention accorded to the affection by the text-books.

Has this seeming infrequency been actual or only apparent? There are many factors that may explain the apparent but not actual rarity of this affection.

In the first place, we are dealing with an affection whose chief or most obvious symptoms are mental. I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that fewer