During 1952 and the early part of 1953 a peculiar phenomenon occurred among infants characterized by epileptiform convulsions unassociated with any other signs of illness and devoid of either physical findings or laboratory data indicative of or suggesting an etiological factor. Unpublished reports of this condition began to come from scattered areas throughout the nation in 1952, first from Odessa, Texas, then from Arkansas and California, and finally from all parts of the country.
These infants presented a strikingly uniform picture: a normal birth history, normal growth and development, a continuous good state of general health until 8 to 16 weeks of age, when suddenly generalized convulsions occurred, usually several times a day. No apparent reason could be found. In those who were hospitalized for study, nothing significant was uncovered. In some there was a mild elevation of spinal fluid protein, and in a few, the serum phosphorus level was