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January 1974

Nerves in Collision.

Author Affiliations

Las Cruces, NM


By Walter C. Alvarez, MD. Price, $8.95. Pp 219. Pyramid Publications, 919 Third Ave, New York 10022, 1972.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(1):163. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320130165036

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This most recent book by the distinguished emeritus clinician, Walter Alvarez, covers the problem of nonconvulsive epilepsy in depth. It is based on 247 cases seen and fully documented by the author over the course of many years. It is a popular book aimed at the general public but physicians could read it with profit.

Alvarez stresses a number of points, a few of which are that nonconvulsive epilepsy should at least be considered in people with violent outbursts of temper, crises of abdominal pain suggesting tabes, and in those unfortunate individuals who commit violent, often senseless, crimes. He states that an abnormal electroencephalogram may result in appropriate confinement to a mental hospital rather than unjust imprisonment. There are many other aberrations that Alvarez feels may be the result of undiagnosed nonconvulsive epilepsy. Some are greatly controversial and Alvarez is fully aware of this.

Nevertheless, the main thesis is certainly

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