It seems probable that the time is past when we can group as due to a single cause or group of causes the numerous nosological types which in the past we called epilepsy, but which to-day we call the epilepsies, or epileptic syndromes. Our efforts, if they are to be ultimately profitable, must now be directed to the clinical study of the disease and to the construction of an adequate classification. Even in the smaller groups into which we shall divide the epilepsies, we shall find, in each, the result of the interaction of many factors, differing more or less in the individual case; in fact, the epilepsies are to be regarded as due to a summation of causes, rather than as a manifestation of some one single etiological factor.
At present, epilepsies are generally classed as symptomatic and idiopathic (also genuine or essential). In the latter group are