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On Present Physiological Theories of Epilepsy, à propos of the doctrines of Dr. Hughlings Jackson

  • Jules Christian (a1)

There are questions upon which the sagacity and ingenuity of observers have been vainly exercised since the beginning of time. They remain for examination, waiting a definite solution, which may never be discovered. Such is the question of the nature of epilepsy.

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See Lumleian Lectures, 1890.

See T. Falret, Theories Physiologiques de l'Epilepsie; in “Archives général de Médecine,” February to May, 1862.

I believe I have caught the author's meaning; at the same time, I should state that I have seen Hughlings Jackson's work as a translation only.

Having observed how frequently the attacks begin in the hand, Hughlings Jackson formulated the law that the spasm generally begin in the small muscles, represented, as he thinks, by small cells; these would be less stable than the large.

Gowers on Epilepsy and other Chronic Convulsive Diseases, Trans, by Canier, Paris, 1883.

This is the explanation of convulsions following great losses of blood: the consecutive anæmia has the effect of diminishing the normal resistance.

Sclerosis of the cornua Ammonis, first pointed out by Meynert, and demonstrated by other observers, has also been denied by many pathologists. It, however, appears to be of real importance in true epilepsy. One of my distinguished colleagues, Dr. Chaslin, physician to the Bicêtre, has found in a certain number of cerebral epileptics alteration of the cornua Ammonis, combined with diffuse sclerosis of the cerebral cortex. These results have been communicated to the Société de Biologie (March, 1890), and will serve as the beginning of a more complete and elaborate work.

See, on this subject, my book: “Epilepsie, folie épileptique,” Paris, 1890.

It is evident that my conclusions are identical with those of Hughlings Jackson, who places the origin of epileptic attacks in the prefrontal lobes, but I arrive at this conclusion by different reasoning.

In the hypothesis of the tense spring of Gowers the sleep of the controlling centres explains the relaxation.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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On Present Physiological Theories of Epilepsy, à propos of the doctrines of Dr. Hughlings Jackson

  • Jules Christian (a1)
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