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September 30, 1893

ON THE CARE OF EPILEPTICS.Read before the Section of Neurology and Medical Jurisprudence, at the Forty-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association.

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK CITY. Professor of Nervous Diseases in the University of Vermont; Instructor In Nervous and Mental Diseases at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York: Attending Physician to the New York Hospital for Epileptics; Pathologist to the New York City Asylum for the Insane.

JAMA. 1893;XXI(14):485-488. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420660015001d

The care of epileptics really includes their medical treatment as well as all other kinds of help extended to them. But medical care, such as it is, has been given to them for some thousands of years, and yet without adding much to the happiness of individuals under treatment, or accumulating much evidence of positive value concerning medication in epilepsy. Our results have been, indeed, almost valueless; for, with all our dosing with bromids, borax, belladonna and so on through the alphabetical index of the Pharmacopoeia, it is extremely doubtful if in ordinary practice, 1 per cent, of the cases of idiopathic epilepsy are cured. Besides the practical incurability and hopelessness of the disease, its victims have suffered untold sorrows in the way of negligence and illtreatment at the hands of the communities in which they live.

It is a peculiarity of this disease that the seizures may be momentary