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Lupulin is derived in the form of scales from the hop plant. These scales contain lupulinic and humilic acids and a volatile oil. The taste of the drug is bitter. This is caused by amorphous hop resins rather than by alkaloids. Lupulin to be of value must be derived from the best Bohemian hops. It must also be fresh and have undergone no exposure to light or heat.
The active principle of lupulin is closely related to valerianic acid. Taken by the mouth lupulin causes a sense of warmth first in epigastrium and later over whole abdomen. It is a mild diuretic and in some persons lowers the pulse rate from ten to twenty beats a minute. The properties of the drug to which Doctor Reilly desires particularly to call attention are its hypnotic and anodyne properties. In twenty-grain doses repeated in a half hour it has a strong tendency to produce sleep and also to relieve nervousness, particularly that following excesses.
As a pain-relieving agent it is to be classed with the milder anodynes. This property makes it of value in the colics of children, in acute prostatic disease and in neurasthenia and hysteria. It is also of value in headache, especially of the occipital variety, and in the pains of menstruation when not caused by pathologic lesions.
In its administration aromatic spirits of ammonia forms a good vehicle for a liquid preparation. It may also be mixed with sugar when it is given to children. Generally, however, it is best administered in capsules. It can be substituted for opium in treating children and for the coal-tar products in many instances. Indeed, its property of meeting the conditions wherein a coal-tar product is often thought to be indicated is considered by Doctor Reilly to constitute its chief claim to the attention of the profession. This view is shown by the following quotation taken from the closing portion of this paper :
"In this era of a high-tension civilization the practitioner is not infrequently brought face to face with the treatment of pains and aches and insomnias which are not in themselves severe and do not have any organic disease as a cause. These patients are neurotic and high strung and are not suffering enough to demand the use of an opiate, and yet in these very people habits are easily formed. The coal-tar series of the past decade has seemed the surest way out of such a dilemma. The laity know it as well as we do and act accordingly. Now that the formation of a coal-tar product is generally recognized, it will probably be a major problem in the next generation. Any one who has seen the cyanosis, palpitation, et cetera, following the use of any of these agents in some people must conclude that they are not in any case without some harm, however slight it may be. In many of the cases described above in which we are tempted to use the coal-tar series, we may substitute lupulin and we may go home and sleep soundly, confident that the patient will have been, in a measure, relieved and that he will not be found dead in bed the next morning as has not infrequenty happened when an acetanilid powder has been taken to soothe his nervous complaints.”
THE PORTUGUESE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF
LISBON afforded every desideratum to render the recent Fifteenth International Vedical Congress a complete scientific and numerical success barring the Latin tongue and a lack of delegates. The former militated against a cosmopolitan participation in the discussional work of the sections, while the latter essential was not in evidence to marked degree, registration showing the presence of only about sixteen hundred, fifty of whom were from the United States. The idea of two successive Latin congresses was not calculated to insure international attendance, and a practical test of the experiment has demonstrated that the delegates hailed principally from Portugal, Spain, and other countries in which the vernacular contemplates Latin derivation.
The Congress was convened by King Carlos on Thursday, April 19, and continued its sessions through the week ending April 26, the address of welcome, an interesting discourse, being read by His Majesty in French. The speaker was supported on either side by Queen Amelie and the Queen Dowager, the former, by the way, being a regular physician, a trained nurse, and one of the most intellectual women of the age. The general addresses reflected the present status of practical medicine and surgery. Aaser, of Christiania, detailed the “Relations of Acute Infectious Diseases With Tuberculosis”; Boyce, of Liverpool, discussed "The Prophylaxis of Yellow Fever as the Result of the 1905 Epidemic in Central America and New Orleans; Brissaud, of Paris, talked on "Infantilism"; Crocq, of Brussels, described "The Mechanism of Reflexes and of Muscular Tonus"; von Hansemann, of Berlin, revealed “The Significance of Domestication for Diseases of Animals and Man"; Neumann, of Vienna, related “The Anatomic Causes of Syphilitic Relapses and Methods to Follow to Combat Them"; Reclus, of Paris, discoursed on "Local Anesthetics"; de Tarchanoff, of Saint Petersburg, recounted the possibilities of “Radium in Biology and Medicine, or Organotherapy of Our Days”; while our own Senn, of Chicago, made “A Plea for the International Study of Carcinoma." The programs of the twenty different sections afforded abundant material for consideration, in fact more than could be properly discussed during the sessions notwithstanding many of the titles listed were unsupported by paper or author. The total number of essays and addresses announced was two hundred fifty, representing one hundred forty different subjects, but comparatively little very new was added to our store of knowledge. The operation of Gigli, cutting the iliac bone, was offered as a substitute for symphysiotomy. Frank
recommended a suprapubic, extraperitoneal Cesarean operation, claiming superiority for this procedure, especially in septic cases. The American operation for fibroids received endorsement. Discussion concerning yellow fever elicited expression of doubt as to mosquitoes being the only cause of the scourge. Tuberculosis received attention commensurate with the importance of the subject, Bernheim urging the appointment of an international prophylactic commission to draft a code of regulations bearing on the disease.
The social features of the event were numerous, some being decidedly elaborate. The various functions included receptions, dinners, garden parties, excursions, bull fights, et cetera. The dinner tendered by the King was a brilliant affair. It was attended by one hundred fifty official delegates, court officials, and ambassadors, who, together with the King, Queen, Queen Dowager, diplomats, and military officers increased the number to two hundred. The American delegates were tendered a dinner by our representative at the Court of Lisbon, Charles Page Bryan, covers being spread for fifty guests. The King and Queen gave a garden party in the royal grounds, and the Marquis of Montserrat treated the guests to another garden party in his grounds at Cintra, while a reception was tendered by the city of Lisbon at the Hotel de Ville.
The next meeting will be held at Budapest three years hence, the Hungarian invitation having been backed by a governmental appropriation of fifty thousand dollars.
THE TREATMENT OF CANCER WITH TRYPSIN. PROBABLY no disease is fraught with more disastrous consequence than cancer. Although the medical treatment of the malady has hitherto been of a somewhat empirical nature, the result of recent experiment would seem to indicate that the etiology and therapy of the growth will soon be known factors. Speculation bearing on the cause has given rise to both humorous and scientific theories, and among the latter that of Beard, of Edinburgh University, seems sufficiently meritorious to elicit comment. Beard contends that migrating cells exist in all parts of the organism and that under normal conditions they are merged with the fixed cells of the body. However, in certain disease conditions, from causes at present undetermined, the wanderer fails to unite with a fixed cell, thus becoming foreign and producing the malignant growth-cancer. This view is a slight modification of Cohnheim's theory, but Beard has augmented the hypothesis by venturing the assertion that the growth may be directly traceable to the
absence of some systemic product--a substance which is calculated to destroy the malicious nature of the aberrant cell and convert it into normal tissue. Beard being an embryologist, has had abundant opportunity to study various forms of life in developmental stages, and has observed that immediately upon the establishment of the pancreatic function in fishes the wandering cell disappears. Using this phenomenon in the fish as a possible clue upon which to establish a logical treatment, Beard employed trypsin in cancerous mice with apparent good result, the wandering cell disintegrating and leaving the normal cell unimpaired. The product has been used to some extent on human beings with the idea of preventing recurrence of the disease after operation, and from all appearances the effect has been gratifying.
THE DEMISE OF PROFESSOR CURIE IN PARIS.
PROFESSOR Curie, who with his wife shared the honor of giving to science a new chemical element-radium, died on April 19, from injuries sustained in a collision with a vehicle in the streets of the French metropolis. Curie married a Polish woman, a profound student of science, who had been a worker in his research laboratory, and after six years of conjoint and untiring labor their discovery of radium was announced in 1898. The nature of the element upset some of the supposedly fixed chemical hypotheses such as the atomic theory and the theory of the conservation of energy, and the enthusiasm of certain therapeutists for a time gave the product undue prominence in the domain of medicine. In 1903 Professor Curie received, in conjunction with his wife, the Nobel prize for scientific research, and in the same year Madam Curie was awarded the Osiris prize of $12,000. That the usefulness of radium and many of its properties had not been determined, Curie was convinced, and he was deeply absorbed in research at the time of his premature demise. In his death the world has lost a man of vast scientific attainment and one who was calculated to revolutionize certain fields of science. A widow and child eight years old are immediate mourners.
DOCTOR REED ON RACE SUICIDE. CONTRARY to the views of President Roosevelt on the race suicide question, are those of Doctor Charles A. L. Reed, of Cincinnati, who argues that few children properly reared will better subserve the common weal than many children developed in unsuitable environment, the idea being that conditions of creature are paramount to commands of creator. In the course of a lecture on the "American Family" the doctor said: "We see in a declining birth-rate only a natural and evolutional adjustment of race to environment—an adjustment that insures rather than menaces the perpetuation of our kind under favoring conditions." Race suicide consequently implies,
according to the speaker, not aversion to conception, but an unselfish regard for the proper development of the offspring. Continuing, Doctor Reed said: "American women recognize, subconsciously, possibly, certainly not in definite terms, but they nevertheless recognize, the force of the law enunciated by Mr. Spencer that whatever conduces to the highest welfare of offspring must more and more establish itself, since children of inferior parents reared in inferior ways will ever be replaced by children of better parents reared in better ways.”
PHYSICIANS AND PHILOSOPHERS.
(Continued from page 91.) It will scarcely be denied by those best qualified to judge that of the three learned professions that of medicine is still the best fitted to stimulate thought and investigation. It is less hemmed in by tradition, and is of immediate public interest. The man who conquers a dangerous disease or who performs a difficult surgical operation needs no other endorsement. Unless he allows avarice to draw him into a practice more extensive than his constitution will bear, he will have a fair degree of leisure for liberalizing his mind by the study of subjects outside of his particular sphere. The history of modern times no less than that of antiquity offers many examples of medical men whose interests were almost coextensive with those of mankind. That the physician, the investigator, the philosopher and the litterateur may be happily blended in one person is finely illustrated by the latest, though it is to be hoped not the last, volume either of the man or of his kind, the 'Aequanimitas' of Doctor Osler.
No one who is acquainted with human nature will be surprised when he learns that the class of medical practitioners known as ‘quacks' flourished among the comparatively enlightened Greeks of ancient times. Often, however, the quack is one who strives after results by a method that has been tabooed by the corporation to whose regulations it is assumed that he ought to have subscribed. Though he is an outlaw, before the tribunal of mortals he may be just as good as if he were an in-law. That mysterious and apparently inscrutable part of our being known as the nervous system has always presented problems which medical practitioners have been unable to solve. Why should not a faith-cure be as legitimate as any other cure, provided it is genuine? And there have been faith-cures time out of mind. When persons cannot control their own imaginations, the task would seem to be doubly difficult for any one else. Often the most important part of the physician's business is to arouse in his patient the will to get well, and whatever will accomplish this cannot be stigmatized as fraud.