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Idiopathic epilepsy is eminently a disease of children, occuring in more than three-fourths of the cases before the twentieth year. So much is this true, that in epilepsy in older people, we always institute a special search for a local cause. Of the causes of epilepsy we are not to treat in this place, nor indeed of the typical severe cases, but because we separate petit mal, we must not fall into the error of supposing we have to deal with a different disease. Nor is it always easy from the description of parents, when there is no opportunity of observing the attacks, to be sure into which group the particular case should go.
Though not a common form of manifestation of epilepsy in children still among a large number of cases there will be a certain number in which the disease at least in its onset takes this form.
BISHOP LF. PETIT MAL IN CHILDREN. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(18):935–938. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430960007001b
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