In the search for somatic disturbance in connection with the insane, either as a cause or as an effect of mental disorder, the acid-base balance has afforded a field of exploration from time to time. Epilepsy, in particular, has provided material for research on these lines. Bigwood (1) (1924) suggested that the epileptic seizure was preceded by an alkalosis, leading to a lowered blood-calcium content, which, in turn, induced the fit. Marrack and Thacker (2 and 3) (1926) disproved this theory, but found that a high blood-ammonia content obtained at times in epilepsy (4), but was not related to the fit. It was actually a starvation phenomenon. There has been biochemical work on other lines in epilepsy in regard to nitrogen retention (5) on the sugar content, but all with negative results.
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