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Hammarberg ("Clinical and Pathologic Studies concerning Idiocy, with Investigations into the Normal Anatomy of the Brain Cortex," Academic Thesis, Upsala, 1893) who unfortunately died from the effects of appendicitis at the very beginning of a most promising career, reaches the following conclusions after a thorough and elaborate examination of the brain cortex of a number (nine) of idiots: in all the cases, which include the principal forms of idiocy, it was possible to explain the psychic defects as due to a lack of cortical nerve cells capable of normal functions.
This absence of normal cells was found to be due, either to an arrest of the development of a greater part of the cortex at a stage corresponding to the embryonal, or to that found in early infancy, or to the actual destruction of cells during the growth of the brain. In all cases it is made clear that at
THE PATHOLOGY OF IDIOCY. JAMA. 1895;XXV(19):821. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430450037006
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