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February 3, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(5):301. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460050047009

Although some observers have contended that a causal relation exists mutually between disease of the heart and epilepsy, this view has not received general acceptance. It is not impossible that the two diseases, when present together, should react unfavorably, the one on the other, but this is a different matter from the one giving rise to the other. While the pathology of epilepsy has yet to be cleared up, that hypothesis seems the more plausible that attributes the manifestations of the disease to irritation of the motor cells of the cerebral cortex, already unduly susceptible in consequence of either hereditary or acquired peculiarities. The irritant may be of most varied kinds, from the products of abnormal metabolism, or toxic substances introduced from without, through all gradations, to coarse organic lesions. With this conception it is difficult to understand how disease of the heart can be capable of causing epilepsy, except,