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February 1, 1902

DEMENTIA PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INEBRIETY.

JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(5):307-310. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480050021001f
Abstract

A study of the early history of inebriates, particularly of the period preceding the use of spirits, indicates the presence of psychosis, and frequently, degrees of dementia which are unrecognized at that time, but later develop into the drink symptoms.

In persons with a traceable heredity and history of degenerative parents, neuro-psychopathics are easily recognized, but in others who have no hereditary history and seem well up to the beginning of the drink period, previous psychoses have not been studied or recognized.

The theory prevails in most circles of medical literature that the onset of inebriety is a mere chance condition, or an accident which might have been prevented, and is largely under the control of the person. There has been no recognition of an earlier preliminary stage leading up to the alcoholic psychoses. This failure has resulted in confusion and conflict of theory and treatment, with consequent quack remedies

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