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December 13, 1902

ALCOHOLIC EPILEPSY.

JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(24):1514-1519. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480500020002c
Abstract

The term "alcoholic epilepsy" is comparatively new in medicine and describes a class of inebriates who have convulsive symptoms resembling epilepsy. Some writers call it a form of delirium tremens and acute alcoholism; others consider it a distinct epilepsy due to the toxic action of alcohol on the brain centers. In some instances the craving for alcohol precedes the paroxysm or epileptic fit like an aura or premonition. Sometimes the convulsion is intensified and increased by alcohol, or in other instances it may be neutralized and the direction of the symptom changed. The sudden maniacal impulse to become narcotized by alcohol, as seen in the dipsomaniac and periodic inebriates, closely resembles epilepsy. A number of cases have been noted where a distinct convulsion preceded the use of spirits and was followed by a continued impulse to drink. When this craving was neutralized by treatment, the convulsion returned. When spirits were

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