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September 8, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(10):629. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460360035009

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The attack of epilepsy may be looked on as a manifestation of the activity of the motor cells of the cerebral cortex, induced by abnormal stimuli. In the absence of positive evidence, there may be reasonable discussion as to the nature of the latter. Sometimes the irritant is grossly mechanical, as a spicule of bone or a clot of blood or a new-growth—hyperplastic or neoplastic—or an inflammatory or traumatic lesion of the brain; at other times it may consist in a poison circulating in the blood. Convulsions due to the influences named are, however, commonly designated epileptiform, in contradistinction from seizures due to less tangible causes, and the latter alone are considered epileptic. The distinction is rather one of convenience than exactitude, and as time goes on, the first group may be expected to expand, while the second grows progressively more restricted. Uric acid is one of the substances that

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