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July 1962

Seizure Disorders in a Guamanian Village

Author Affiliations


Arch Neurol. 1962;7(1):37-44. doi:10.1001/archneur.1962.04210010043004

Introduction  For the past 10 years the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, through its Epidemiology Branch, has maintained a center for the study of the various neurological diseases that occur among the indigenous population (Chamorros) of the Island of Guam. The stability the population of the island, the high quality of medical care available, the small size of the island, and the relatively large sibships are proven assets to the epidemiologist working on Guam. This natural epidemiological laboratory has already provided much important data regarding several degenerative diseases of the nervous system. The prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been shown to be 100 times that encountered anywhere else in the world.1-4 Recent surveys have established the presence of a unique, highly prevalent degenerative disease—the parkinsonism-dementia complex—manifested by dementia, extrapyramidal and pyramidal tract signs, and evidence of involvement of lower motor neurons.5 There is clinical

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