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Progress in Pediatrics
November 1949


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Child Health, University of Glasgow, and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Am J Dis Child. 1949;78(5):763-774. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1949.02030050780015

CONVULSIONS young children have been known and feared since medicine began, but it is only in comparatively recent years that a systematic study of their causation has been made. By the end of the ninteenth century, Hughlings Jackson and Soltmann had already made their contributions and rather earlier Clarke had described convulsions associated with carpopedal spasm and laryngismus.1 Thus there had already been an attempt to separate from the main group of infantile convulsions those which might properly be called epileptic, while the convulsions of tetany were also recognized. The researches of Soltmann led him to postulate an immature nervous system which was, therefore, hyperirritable to peripheral stimuli. This explanation of the hypersusceptibility of infants to convulsions fell on ready ears. It was a poor physician indeed who could not find some cause of peripheral irritation in a convulsing child, although none, presumably, felt constrained to warn the mother

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