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April 28, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(17):1076. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460170056016

The young are peculiarly susceptible to emotional influences, and these may be of intrinsic or extrinsic origin. Children are readily startled and easily frightened, and in them the imagination responds quickly to stimulation. These facts find their explanation in the irritability and instability of the nervous system in early life, and its prompt reaction to various stimuli. Indiscretions in diet and gastrointestinal, nutritive and metabolic disturbances, constitute the most common etiologic factors in the development of derangements of nervous functional activity in childhood. A not uncommon disorder, whose exact nature is unknown, but which is at times attributable to such an origin, consists in the occurrence of attacks in which the little patient cries out during sleep as if in fright, and is perhaps awakened in great terror. A similar condition of fright, without tangible or at least adequate cause, occurs, though less commonly, during the waking hours, either independently