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Article
February 1938

ROLE OF ANOXIA IN PRODUCTION OF EPILEPTIFORM SEIZURES: WITH STUDIES OF THE ACID-BASE EQUILIBRIUM

Author Affiliations

LEEDS, ENGLAND; CHICAGO

From the Department of Experimental Medicine and the Department of Nervous and Mental Diseases, Northwestern University Medical School.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1938;61(2):208-222. doi:10.1001/archinte.1938.00180080050005
Abstract

For many years different workers have attempted to show that voluntary hyperpnea can produce seizures in a patient with epilepsy. Numerous theories have been advanced for the mode of action, all of them being connected either with changes in the concentration of specific ions in the blood or with alterations in the acid-base equilibrium. In voluntary hyperpnea a state of alkalosis is encountered. Because of this, Lennox1 suggested, for the first time, that anoxia may play a part in the production of seizures, in that in alkalosis the blood gives up oxygen less readily, thereby causing oxygen lack in the tissues.

On the basis of this premise it should be possible to predict the occurrence of seizures as the result of voluntary hyperpnea. A review of the literature shows a lack of agreement as to the incidence and mechanism of the production of seizures by hyperventilation or anoxia.2

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