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no new light was thrown upon this timely subject, but a good deal of clarifying of ideas was indicated by the discussion. A curious incident was a controversy regarding the tactus eruditus as an interpreter of pulse tension, or blood pressure. Gibson of course went too far in giving the impression that the palpation of the pulse is useless, and Broadbent was equally wrong in making the educated touch the equal of blood pressure instruments. The second day was devoted to "Metabolism," and brought out a lively discussion regarding the wellknown views of Chittenden.
The great day was that devoted to the discussion of "Heart-Block," and this was one of the greatest sessions, beyond question, of any medical society. The question was opened by Aschoff, who gave a masterly presentation of researches carried on in his laboratory for more than two years, part of which have been made accessible in the book by S. Tawara on "Das Reizleitung System des Säugetierherzens." seems impossible to doubt that Aschoff and his pupils have carried the work begun by His immeasurably forward, not only anatomically, in showing the extensive system of fibres going out from the auriculoventricular bundle,-fibres originally described by Purkinje, but whose real nature and function was hitherto unsuspected. Even more, the function of the bundle becomes more easy to understand, from the course and distribution of the fibres. Finally, Aschoff described very briefly changes observed in rheumatism, causing seemingly specific nodules, the relations of which to the Purkinje fibres may be of the very greatest pathologic and clinical importance.
Aschoff delivered his address in English of good quality. His quiet manner, his still youthful face, looking all the more student-like from the "handsome" duelling scars, and his evident command of the subject made a deep impression. In an adjoining room he had many sections under microscopes, showing the bundle and fibres in various places, and rheumatic submiliary foci.
Erlanger gave a very good account of the results of his investigations, and Mackenzie spoke too briefly of the interpretation of pulse tracings, in heart-block, and mentioned some instructive examples. G. A. Gibson showed tracings and hearts with microscopic sections from cases of Stokes-Adams disease. W. S. Morrow showed a very ingenious model for demonstrating types of arhythmia, discussed some of Mackenzie's terms, and Sir James Barr detailed a case history with some comments on the received explanation of heart-block.
Those who that day heard of heart-block for the first time doubtless concluded he was hopelessly dense, but his attitude of doubt was quite natural to anyone who had made even a thorough study before the revelations of Erlanger. To those who knew the latter, and especially to those who had seen Erlanger's own demonstrations, it seems certain that he has performed a work that made his appearance a necessary part when Aschoff and Mackenzie were on the program.
On the last day of section work a number of papers were read,
including an important one by Flexner on a "Meningococcus Serum;" F. J. Smith on "Fuller Feeding in Typhoid;" Spiller on "Syringomyelia;" Dock on "Paracentesis of the Pericardium," et cetera. One thing that seems worth mentioning is a greater frankness in discussing disputed points, especially striking in comparing the discussion of Chittenden's paper with that of Billings' at the Portland meeting on the same subject, but in many other cases.
Among the topics discussed in other sections, the "Use of Alcohol in Treatment," in the Therapeutic Section was perhaps the one most important to physicians. The general tendency of the speakers seemed toward a middle course, avoiding the routine use as well as the complete abandonment of alcohol. At the meeting of the Dominion Alliance, in which Sir Victor Horsley took a prominent part, the great improvement regarding the use of alcoholic remedies in disease was clearly brought out. Perhaps it was wholly accidental, but more likely a sign of the shrewdness of advertising experts, that a Peruna "ad." occupied a conspicuous position in the account of the meeting of the Alliance.
The social functions were numerous and very attractive. The garden parties furnished agreeable foci in which to meet one's friends and see everyone. The dinner was like most functions of that kind— very agreeable, so long as one could have a quiet talk with his neighbors, but a serious bore when the speakers began, for only a small minority could hear what was said, while private conversation was out of the question. On the whole the meeting was most profitable and it is to be hoped that the British Medical Association will often meet in America and will be as hospitable as it was this time. Perhaps in time an Anglo-Saxon Association may grow out of the obvious affinities of blood and traditions.
SALT-FREE DIET IN SCARLET FEVER.
PATER, a Frenchman, recommends a varied but salt-free diet as a substitute for the usual absolute milk diet in the treatment of scarlet fever. The food contemplated in his tests embraced bread, without salt; rice; potatoes; eggs; butter; light desserts; and milk. While the ingestion of these heavy staples in the initial stages of the disease produced febrile albuminuria, this symptom soon disappeared, and the nutritious foods proved not only agreeable to the patient but greatly favored the possibility of offsetting secondary infections and complications, besides shortening the period of convalescence.
SOME PECULIARITIES OF THE SPIROCHETA PALLIDA. BEER, a German investigator, has succeeded in keeping the spirochæta pallida alive and under observation for a period of thirty-three days. The organisms were procured from primary lesions, mucous patches, and buboes. During the specified time no developmental change was apparent, and no division of the living spirochete was observed, although the author noticed what seemed to be a longitudinal fission, with a resulting Y-shaped form. The hanging-drop method of studying motility was discarded for a common cover-glass and slide made air-tight with vaselin and wax. Two forms of motility were observed, namely, rotation about the long axis, and lateral motion of the entire cell. When the spirochete comes in contact with a cell the rotary motion is accelerated, and the organism from all appearances endeavors to penetrate the cell wall. In fresh preparations the organisms immediately attach themselves to the cell membrane, giving a clue to the possible location of the spirochete in microscopic examinations-the periphery of blood corpuscles, epithelial cells, et cetera.
BARON TAKAKI'S OBSERVATIONS ON BERIBERI.
THE remarkable freedom of the Mikado's troops from disease during the late Manchurian campaign directed the attention of the entire medical world to the excellence of the Japanese sanitary régimé. Inasmuch as bereberi was one of the principal bugbears which the medical officers of the army were obliged to fight vigilantly, some observations recently disclosed by Baron Takaki, of the Japanese army, before the Montreal Medico-Chirurgical Society are worthy of note. In Japan, where the disease has been known for centuries, it is designated Kak'ke, “leg trouble." It asserts itself more particularly in the larger cities and older towns. It is not only peculiar to Oriental climes-Formosa, Corea, China, Borneo, and the Philippine Islands-but is likewise quite prevalent in Brazil and other parts of South America. Beriberi exhibits three forms-acute, subacute, and chronic, the latter manifestation being relatively rare. After investigating climatic and living conditions, occupation, clothing, et cetera, with negative result, Baron Takaki discovered that food exerts a marked influence in the prophylaxis and cure of the malady. When the men were provided with nitrogenous and carbohydrate foods, in the proportion of one to thirty-two, occurrences of the disease were rare, but as the nitrogenous food was increased the disease also increased. Out of one hundred sixty troops provided with mixed food in unsuitable proportions, sixteen succumbed. Later, under the same climatic conditions, and with a sufficient supply of rice and barley, no cases developed, while those already ill experienced a rapid recovery. Under the nitrogenous and carbohydrate foods in the proportions specified, bodily weight increased, the disease was almost absolutely eliminated, and the men were practically oblivious to heat or cold.
ANESTHESIA WITHOUT SUBJECTIVE ANNOYANCE.
GERSUNG, the eminent German surgeon, proffers some novel suggestions regarding obviation of the disagreeable struggles incident to the production of anesthesia. His method consists in enclosing the arms and forearms in cuffs of celluloid which project several inches beyond the finger tips, thus rendering these members useless insofar as meddling with inhaler or anesthetist is concerned. Efforts to gain a sitting posture are frustrated by having a nurse raise the patient's feet several inches above the table until total sleep is induced. Without the aid of the leg muscles the patient is unable to effect the semierect position. The simplicity of these procedures would seem to commend them for trial.
A PURIFIER FOR THE LACTEAL PRODUCT.
THE demand for pure milk as a food staple for infants, has led to the discovery by Much and Romer of a safe and effective means of destroying microorganisms in the lacteal fluid. Inasmuch as milk of tuberculous cattle contains the tubercle bacillus, there is possibility that other diseases peculiar to the bovine species may also assert themselves in the secretion. The employment of chemicals renders the milk unfit for infant feeding, and boiling effects a decomposition of the albuminoid constituents. Thus these methods are impractical as well as was hydrogen peroxid as formerly employed, since the milk was rendered unpalatable. For the purpose of destroying this unpleasant property of an otherwise excellent agent, Much and Romer, after long experimentation, discovered that if a sterile vessel containing sufficient hydrogen peroxid to render the proportion about one to one thousand was employed as a receptacle in the milking process, excellent results could be obtained after allowing the fluid to stand from six to eight hours and then adding a ferment, hemase (which is prepared from the blood of cattle), in the proportion of 0.5 to one grain per litre of milk. Hemase acts as a catalyzer and because of its marked affinity for hydrogen peroxid this agent is entirely removed after a period of two hours, and the milk rendered tasteless and free from the danger incident to germ life.
HYPNOTISM: ITS HISTORY, NATURE, AND USE.
HAROLD M. HAYS, OF THE COLLEge of phySICIANS AND SURGEONS, NEW YORK CITY, IN THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY] (Continued from page 381)
In 1866 this M. Ch. Lafontaine, a traveling mesmerist, published his "Memoirs of a Magnetizer." If it had not been for this, the electrobiologists of America, under one named Grimes, might have claimed prior right to the discovery of hypnotism. M. Lafontaine thus describes the state of affairs at that time:
"Having accomplished the cure of numerous deaf and blind persons, says he with modest assurance, as also numerous epileptic and paralytic sufferers at the hospital (this was in Birmingham), I repaired to Liverpool, but only to meet with disappointment; few persons attended the séance; and on the following day I proceeded to Manchester in which city my success was conspicuous. The newspapers reported my experiments at great length, and to give some idea of the sensation I created, I may say that my séances returned me a gross total of thirty thousand francs. I put to sleep a number of persons who were well-known residents of Manchester. I caused deaf mutes to hear, operated a number of brilliant cures. After my departure, Doctor Braid, a surgeon in Manchester, delivered a lecture in which he proposed to prove that magnetism was nonexistent. From this lecture Braidism, afterwards ⚫ called hypnotism, originated, ardent discussion arising, even from the beginning over this pretended discovery. I received letters from Manchester entreating me to return, and I did so on a date when Doctor Braid had announced a demonstration. His experiments were given, but unfortunately, on this occasion none of them succeeded; neither sleep nor catalepsy was obtained, and every moment I was appealed to. In the facts that were advanced on this occasion by Doctor Braid, there was in my opinion, absolutely nothing that was remarkable, and had not that gentleman been honorably known in the town, I should have. supposed that he was mystifying his audience. The next day, and for six days consecutively, I experimented after his own fashion on fifty or sixty subjects and the results were practically nil. I then gave a magnetic séance and the results on Eugene and Mary were marked and positive."
The value of the quotation rests solely on the opportune remark that Braid was the first to apply the name hypnotism to animal magnetism. One should not forget that Eugene and Mary were two subjects whom Lafontaine carried with him from town to town and on whom he could rely for phenomena.
Though Braid survived his discovery by not more than eighteen years, he lived to know that it was well on the road to acceptance by the competent opinion of the time. In the latter part of his life he said, "I feel no great anxiety for the fate of hypnotism, provided it only has ‘a fair field and no favour.' I am content to bide my time, in the firm conviction that truth for which alone I most earnestly strive, with the discovery of the safest, and surest, and speediest modes of relieving human suffering, will ultimately triumph over error" ("Magic, Witch," page 53).
The enemies of Braid were as vociferous in their denunciation of him as his friends were earnest in their praise. And what may seem the greatest surprise and yet what seems to be a natural consequence of opposition, the mesmerists themselves were the ones who were the loudest in opposing him. However, his method has stood the test of years and still prevails among those who practise the art nowadays.