A peculiar case of this kind was that of the twin brothers Laustand who were nurses in a hospital at Bordeaux; they invariably became ill at the same time, and suffered cataract of the lens together. Automatism has been noticed as a sequel to cranial injuries, and Huxley quotes a remarkable case reported by Mesnet. The patient was a young man whose parietal bone was partially destroyed by a ball.
Mesnet relates some interesting experiments made upon a French sergeant in a condition of somnambulism, demonstrating the excitation of ideas in the mind through the sense of touch in the extremities.
She then kneeled down in prayer, made the sign of the cross, mounted a stool, and tried to hang herself. Mesnet, scientific to the utmost, allowed her to hang as long as he dared, and then stopped the performance. At another time she attempted to kill herself by violently throwing herself on the floor after having failed to fling herself out of the window.
The next morning the teacher asked him if he had finished his problem, and he replied that he had, having dreamt it and remembered the dream. There are many such stories on record. Quoted by Gray, Mesnet speaks of a suicidal attempt made in his presence by a somnambulistic woman. She made a noose of her apron, fastened one end to a chair and the other to the top of a window.