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EPILEPSY. (Falling Sickness)

Category: Diseases of The Nervous System

This is an affection of the nervous system,
characterized by attacks of unconsciousness, with or without convulsion.

Causes. In a large proportion of cases the disease begins before puberty.
It rarely begins after twenty-five. It is more liable to attack females
than males. Heredity is thought by some to play a big role. Dr. Osler
says: "In our figures it appears to play a minor role." Another doctor
says: "Heredity plays an important role in the production of the disease.
Besides epilepsy, insanity, migraine, alcoholism, near relationship of
parents (consanguinity) and hysteria are among the more common ancestral
taints observed." All factors which impair the health and exhaust the
nervous system are predisposing causes. Injury to the head often causes
it. Teething, worms, adherent foreskin and clitoris, closing of the
internal opening of the womb, delayed menstruation, are sometimes the

Symptoms. There are two distinct types. The major attacks--or "grand
mal"--in which there are severe convulsions with complete loss of
consciousness, etc.; and the minor attacks or "petit mal," in which the
convulsive movements are slight and may be absent, and in which the loss
of consciousness is often but momentary or practically absent. In some the
attacks occur during the day; in others during the night, and they may not
be noticed for a long time.

Next: Characteristic paroxysm of the Major attacks

Previous: PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT for Hysteria

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