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A hundred years ago
23 Sep 2016
PROBABLY of all the symptoms that a malingerer can simulate, one of the most baffling is incontinence of urine. When medico-legal cases are sent for examination and report, there is usually only an opportunity for a single examination, lasting perhaps under an hour, which makes it well nigh impossible to disprove allegations of this disability. This results in the payment of large sums by employers or insurance companies. The only available method of detecting cases of this sort is by the supervision to be obtained at a public institution.
01 Aug 2016
The idea of employing the electrically provoked activity of the muscles as a therapeutic agent has been made practical by the perfection of the present apparatus. It acts quite independently of the patient’s will, and demands no expenditure; its application is not restricted by any crippling condition of the joints, and, whilst avoiding any dangerous strain upon the heart, it provides an amount of exercise sufficient to start a more or less rapid lipolysis. With the internal reserves thus more freely available, it is the usual thing to find that the patient’s appetite diminishes, in spite of the muscular work electrically excited, until all desire is satisfied with a small amount of food and a very slender diet is supported with absolute comfort. The food supply is reduced without difficulty below the figure of expenditure. Perhaps the most interesting and surprising feature, in many cases of all ages, is the rapidity with which physical activity may be regained under treatment.
23 Jun 2016
WITH SIR CLIFFORD ALLBUTT as its high priest, bleeding, with restraint, is in the process of coming by its own again. I first heard Sir Clifford Allbutt speak in praise of blood-letting in 1907, and I find this view confirmed in his recently published book. Blood letting has been advocated during the last fifteen years by those best qualified to speak of it from experience, namely, the general practitioners. However, they speak furtively, shamefacedly, and in the fear of the pseudo-scientific superman. These gentle counsellors have been assailed with such vociferous energy by the pseudo-scientist, that their timid voices have scarcely been heard.
23 May 2016
As soon as the acute stage has passed off, usually in a week or two, it is inadvisable to prolong the Weir-Mitchell treatment. The course usually prescribed is six weeks, but this is, in very many cases, harmful. The ennui and monotony are prejudicial, and will engender a feeling of helplessness, feebleness, and dependence upon others. I believe the majority would be far better to begin in a fortnight or three weeks to interest themselves in some pursuit or hobby. It is an interest in life that these people need. This will prevent them from drifting into the chronic stage from which it is so difficult to remove them. In neurasthenia, it is the person rather than the disease that demands treatment.
25 Apr 2016
DISLOCATIONS, even rare ones, have a knack of cropping up in general practice. One of the most unmanageable and disastrous is undoubtedly congenital dislocation of the hip. Failures gall me, as I suppose they do most people, and the verdict, “Nothing can be done,” always, I fear, arouses my obstinacy.
21 Mar 2016
One case of headache was a peculiarly pathetic one – that of a fine young fellow who had enlisted in a Guards’ regiment. He was eager to be sent out to the firing line, and had made up his mind that if he did not feel better when he got there, he would make it easy for the enemy to end an existence which had become intolerable. This form of suicide is probably more common than we think.
22 Feb 2016
Much good may be done by suggestion in hysterical cases. By encouraging a patient and assuring him that he can use a paralysed limb, we may gradually bring back his control over it. Suggestion is especially useful in hysterical blindness: the patient is told that he will see, at a certain time, the exact minute being specified. Thus, Mr. Walter Jessop succeeded in curing a blind patient by getting the nurse to awake him in the middle of the night and saying to him, “Now you can see!”
25 Jan 2016
Conditions more calculated to shatter the strongest “nerves” it would be hard to imagine. Days and nights spent in wet, insanitary trenches, clothes swarming with vermin, food never very appetizing and often insufficient in amount, death or mutilation always imminent, comrades falling and fallen around, the groans of the wounded mingled with the ear-splitting din of bursting shells, to say nothing of the unspeakable horrors of the bayonet – all this, one would think, would more than suffice to upset the equilibrium of the most stable nervous system.
The Practitioner 2007;251(1699):28-29
Piperazine as a drug of misuse
01 Oct 2007