« ForrigeFortsæt »
region, both effects being increased in proportion as it influences the nervous system generally through the brain; and, as Dr. Fleming remarks, “If an organic lesion, resulting froin an injury, be not present, our cure may be
permanent;" if it be only temporary, the physician, always remembering the physiological action of aconite, inust seek for those states of the system which contra-indicate its use, and not stigmatize a drug as noxious and dangerous, which, it given in congested states of organs, lungs, or otherwise, will decidedly verify his worst anticipations; or, if in anæmic states of the system we give this powerful drug, we must only blame our own rashness if its indiscriminate use leads us into trouble.
To enter into the vexed question of the exact way in which quinine acts, whether it is a tonic, acting simply by catalysis (Headland) on the blood, or by giving to it some essential ingredient in which it is deficient. For my part I must contess myself an advocate of the logical conclusions drawn by Dr. İleadland on this matter in his recent able edition on the “ Action of Medicines,” believing quinine to be a restorative medicine, not directly neurotic, and adducing in evidence the discovery of Dupré and Jones by means of the fluorescent test, which establishes the presence of a substance in the blood similarly constituted to quinine. We may look upon quinine as producing a permanent change in the blood, either filling up some deficiency or producing some change in its integral constituents, and so altering the existing state, and conclude that quinine acts through the blood, and that its effects in nervine disorders are due to this blood-action, which is restorative in character. So that it is indicated in any deranged state of the system which clinical experience shows to be the result of certain morbid states of the blood, originating in a deficiency or change in its ingredients, as evidenced by a certain cláss of affections that follow those particular changes.
Is not, then, neuralgia often the result of such changed conditions of the blood? Pathology, in many instances, can assign no cause for it! Morbid anatomy looks in vain for any state to account for the life symptoms, and though we may have palpable causes during life and apparent after death, still, in many instances, we can assign no reason for suffering but some debilitated state of the blood, anæmic or otherwise, no practical physician haring failed to observe the relation that exists between neuralgia, debility, and hysteria ; often do we find all three coexisting in the same in
dividual, and as surely as chlorosis and hysteria are allied, so is neuralgia and other debilitated states. The question arises, then, does not quinine, by altering this morbid state, relieve the condition that it has induced ? and this I believe to be its true action. And so we may use it as a valuable adjunct to aconite. 1st. In neuralgia occurring in anæmic or debilitated patients, without any apparent nerve-lesion or exciting cause. 2d. In old cases of nenralgia where the primary disease has induced a state of the circulation at the part affected not in accordance with health. 3d. In all cases where, to a temporary relief, we would add permanency of cure.
The Future of Science.
Sir J. Y. SIMPSON, of Edinburgh, who adds to his great fame as the head of the progressive school of surgery and medicine in Great Britain, a touch of poetical genius and a decided bent towards universal knowledge in his studies, indulges in the following anticipations of the future progress of the healing art:
“ But that day of revolution will not probably be fully realized till those distant days when physicians-a century or two hence-shall be familiar with the chemistry of most diseases; when they shall know the exact organic poisons that produce them, with all their exact antidotes and elimipatories; when they shall look upon the cure of some maladies as simply a series of chemical problems and formulæ ; when they shall melt down all calculi, necrosed bones, etc., chemically, and not remove them by surgical operations; who the bleeding in amputations and other wounds shall be stemmed, not by septic ligatures or stupid needles, but by the simple application of hæmostatic gases or washes; when the few wounds then required in surgery shall all be swiftly and immediately healed by the first intention; when medical men shall be able to stay the ravages of tubercle, blot out fevers and inflammations, avert and melt down morbid growths, cure cancer, destroy all morbific organic germs and ferments, annul the deadly influences of malaria and contagions, and by these and various other means markedly lengthen out the average duration of human life; when our hygienic condition and laws shall have been changed by state legislation, so as to forbid all cominunicable diseases from being communicated, and remove all causes of sickness that are removable; when the rapidly increasing length of human VOL. IV.NO. 5.
life shall begin to fulfil that ancient prophecy, 'the child shall die a hundred years old ;' :when there shall have been achieved, too, advances in other walks of life, far beyond our present state of progress; when houses shall be built and many other kinds of work performed by machinery, and not by human lands alone; when the crops in these islands shall be increased five or ten fold, and abundance of human food be provided for our increased population by our fields being irrigated by that waste organic refuse of our towns, which we now recklessly run off into our rivers and seas; when man shall have invented means of calling down rain at will; when he shall have gained cheaper and better motive-powers than steam; when he shall travel from continent to continent by submarine railways, or by flying and ballooning through the air."
There is certainly nothing in all this that can be called impossible—nothing to rival the wonders of tlie last half çentury.
Therapeutical Uses of Belladonna.
1. It is a powerful cardiac stimulant: hence it is useful in many cases of syncope and cardiac asthenia; Toth of a grain of the sulphate is generally sufficient. 2. It is diuretic, excites the sluggish circulation and torpid kidney. In acute nephritis it calms the nervous irritation and contracts the dilated vessels. In chronic albuminuria it appears to diminish the excretion of albumen. It is a safe medicine in nearly all conditions of the kidney, and tends to keep that organ in a state of healthy excitement. 3. It promotes oxidation in the system. Hence it is useful in the uric acid and lactic acid "diatheses.--Abstract from Gulstonian Lectures in Med. Times and Gazette. (Boston Med. and Surg. Journal.)
A New Method of Preserving Animal Tissue.
M. VAN FETTER, having charge of the Anatomical Museum of the Medical University of Boulogne, near Paris, has submitted to the public an original process for preserving anatomical subjects and specimens of natural history, which he claims to be vastly superior to any of the many which have been hitherto discovered. IIe mixes one pound of nitrate of potash, two pounds of brown sugar, and fourteen pounds of
glycerine, or a larger quantity if required, in the same proportions. The specimens to be preserved are immersed in this mixture, where they are allowed to remain until they become as hard as wood. The time necessary to complete this part of the process varies considerably, according to the size of the pieces, and the texture of the tissue to be impregnated. It is generally finished in from one to three weeks. The pieces are then suspended in a warm, dry atmosphere, that of an apartment artificially heated being considered the best, where the inventor claims that the glycerine soon entirely evaporates, leaving the specimens of a natnral color, and soft and flexible.—Journal of Applied Chemistry.
Position in the Treatment of Chloroform Poisoning.
Dr. E. S. Holmes, in the Chicago Med. Examiner, calls attention to the importance of position where danger is threatened from the effects of chloroform inhalation. He says that in cases where he observed a tendency to syncope, he directed the assistants to raise the table sufficiently high to place the patient with the head downward on an inclined plane of at least 40°. He found, invariably, that the pulse at once became fuller and more frequent, and that the color returned to the face. He detailed several cases in which the pulse and breathing had entirely ceased during the administration of chloroform, and where the elevation of the foot of the table immediately reëstablished the action of the heart and lungs. He further says:
“Whatever may be the obscure causes of fatal results from the use of chloroform, I believe the danger, in by far the larger proportion of cases, depends upon a tendency to death by syncope. To overcome this tendency, it is necessary to stimulate the nervous centres. This may be done by causing a column of blood to press upon the vessels of the brain. It is not sufficient to remove the pillow from the head and place it under the hips. It is necessary that the whole body be placed upon a steep inclined plane, to force as much blood as possible, by gravitation, into the brain. I believe this is of more importance than any of the methods usually described by writers on the subject. It should take precedence of the withdrawal of the tongue, artificial respiration, galvanism, or stimulants. This remedy can always be applied without delay, and can be followed by any others which may seem desirable.
A Cure for Headache.--By GEORGE KENION, M. D., F.
R. Č. P., Harrogate.
Tue remedy, as I have already observed, is simple; it is the bisulphide of carbon in solution. Its mode of application is no less simple. A small quantity of the solution (about two drachms) is poured upon cotton wool, with which a small wide-mouthed, glass-stoppered bottle is half filled. This of course absorbs the fluid ; and, when the i'emedy has to be used, the mouth of the bottle is to be applied closely (so that none of the volatile vapor may escape) to the temple, or behind the ear, or as near as possible to the seat of pain ; and so held for from three to five or six minutes. After it lias been applied for a minute or two, a sensation is felt as if several leeches were biting the part; and, after the lapse of two, three, or four minutes more, the smarting and pain become rather severe, but subside almost immediately after the removal of the bottle. It is very seldom that any redness of the skin is produced. The effect of this application, as I have said, is generally immediate. It may be applied, if necessary, three or four times in the day.
The class of headaches in which this remedy is chiefly useful, is that which may be grouped under the wide term of "nervous.” Thus neuralgic headache, periodic headache, hysterical headache, and even many kinds of dyspeptic headache are almost invariably relieved by it; and although the relief of'a symptom is a very different affair, of course, from the removal of its cause, yet no one who has witnessed (and who of us has not seen ?) the agony and distress occasioned by severe and repeated headache, but must rejoice in having the power of affording relief in so prompt and simple manner.British Med. Journal. (Boston Med. and Surg. Journal.)
The Discovery of Animal Quinoidine.
We observe with regret that a very meritorious worker in the field of physiological chemistry is likely to be deprived of his due meed of credit for an important discovery; and we consider that we shall be doing a service to science by rectifying the erroneous impression which has got abroad. The discovery of a substance resembling quinine in the human body, which was originally made in this country, has attracted much attention abroad as well as here, but the real discoverer seems to have been lost sight of, since we lately