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November 1961

Epilepsy and Related Disorders

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(5):802. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620110142019

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This work is published in two volumes with numerous illustrations and tables. The author has an engaging style, and the apostrophe, simile, and pathetic fallacy are woven into the text in an entertaining manner. It would make instructive reading for the stilted "subject-predicate" school of medical writers.

The opening chapters deal with the early writings on epilepsy and explore the evolving concepts of causation. The various convulsive disorders are then classified and described. There is a chapter on the "Borderlands of Epilepsy" which includes migraine, syncope, carotid sinus syndrome, narcolepsy, hysteria, vertigo, and sleep disorders—the relationship of these to epilepsy it extremely tenuous. Other chapters consider sources of seizures, genetics of epilepsy, acquired epilepsy, electrobiology, and therapeutics. There is an interesting chapter on epileptics of worth and fame. The final chapters are a sympathetic look at the social, emotional, and legal problems of this disorder.

The appraisal of the book

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