The convulsion is the most prominent symptom of epilepsy. It is this symptom which has lent itself most extensively to the study of the pathogenesis of this disorder. There are many phenomena associated with convulsions which have received but scant attention. Chief among these are the circulatory and respiratory disturbances.
In A Study of Respiration and Circulation in Epilepsy1 one of us found that preceding the convulsion in a case of petit mal, admirably suited for continuous respiratory and circulatory tracings, a constant series of events occurred (Fig. 1).
A preliminary rise in blood pressure was noticed twenty-six to sixty seconds before the convulsion ; when the rise took place over thirty seconds before a convulsion the blood pressure usually fell again slightly. Immediately preceding the convulsion by from nine to twelve seconds there was a sudden marked drop in blood pressure, which remained relatively low during the time
POLLOCK LJ, HOLMES WH. A STUDY OF RESPIRATION AND CIRCULATION IN PICROTOXIN CONVULSIONS: THE POSSIBLE BEARING OF THIS STUDY ON THE THEORIES OF PATHOGENESIS OF EPILEPTIC CONVULSIONS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1915;XVI(2):213–222. doi:10.1001/archinte.1915.00080020067005
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