CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

210 and for children threatened with hydrocephalus, a little of the CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND ointment being rubbed in strongly behind the ears, to pro...

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210 and for children threatened with hydrocephalus, a little of the CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND ointment being rubbed in strongly behind the ears, to produce MATERIA MEDICA. mild vesication. Headach appears to be much more common in Petersburg than even with us; this in some measure arises from THE URINE OF THE COW AS A REMEDY. the great artificial heat of the rooms. They are defended from In a paper of M. BOUSSINGAULT, is a fact which, he observes, phthisis by warmth, but this inflicts the minor evil of cephalalgia. will surprise chemists and physiologists; it is, that " the urine of The inner bark of the mezereon root has been already strongly herbivorous animals contains bicarbonate of potass, and not, as is believed, subcarbonate. With the urea and hippuric recommended in this country by Dr. Copland as a counter-irri- generally acid this urine curiously resembles an alkaline mineral water. It tant, but of this Sir George Lefevre does not seem to be aware. might be employ ed to dissolve uric acid calculi. I speak more Under the head of spasmodic diseases, a very interesting case seriously than you will be disposed to believe, when I say that I of cholera is given. It occurred in an old lady who had long been should have more confidence in the urine of one of my cows than in an alkaline solution prepared by many celebrated afflicted with partial paralysis of the left arm. During the attack chemists." of cholera, she suffered intensely from spasmodic action of the whole body, and on the decline of the disease, it was found she ON A MOLECULAR MODIFICATION OF OIL OF TURPENTINE, RENDERING IT CAPABLE OF MORE READILY DISSOLVING CAOUThad recovered the use of her arm. The narrator thinks this case CHOUC. By M. BOUCHARDAT. I, illustrates the influence of the circulating fluid on the muscular Ten years ago I was consulted by a manufacturer of waterfibre, and the nervous filaments." Instead of this, we should proof cloth, to discover the best solvent for caoutchouc. At that suppose the phenomena to have been purely nervous, and that time the practice in England was to employ coal-tar naphtha, or an the distillation of caoutchouc over a naked fire. the spasmodic action operated on the paralyzed arm in the same oil obtained by I commenced by carefully examining this pyrogenous oil. I way as strychnia does in analogous cases. The cure of paralysis by separated from it several well-defined hydro-carbons, remarkable the accidental supervention of spasm is a point of singular interest. for their low boiling point, but I soon found that the price of this We learn that a physician of St. Petersburg has attained a oil would long prevent its use in manufactures. The essential oil from coal has so disgusting and permanent a smell, that I regreat reputation for the cure of chorea by a treatment chiefly solved to seek for another solvent. consisting of country air, and the cold shower-bath, at all seasons From the first I thought that turpentine, which, as is well of the year. The hair is cut close, and the bath resorted to in the known, dissolves caoutchouc, might be so modified by heat as to the solvent we required, and experience proved the truth morning, as soon as the patient has left the mattrass. The head supply of this supposition. By distilling oil of turpentine once or twice is sponged with cold vinegar and water several times during the over a naked fire, we obtain a very satisfactory solvent. In day, and, further than this, few or no medicines are necessary. making this distillation on brick, the essence being submitted to In the part of the work given to cholera, many striking reasons a higher temperature, it becomes very little inferior to caoutchouchine. This is now the,solvent for caoutchouc, employed are produced for considering this pest non-contagious, while both in France and for the manufacture of impermeable the plague would seem, from such evidence, to be contagious. textures. What England, change has this process effected in the turpenIn the town of Odessa, it was found that the strictest military tine ? Does it form new volatile products, or is it simply a cordons did not arrest its progress, "it stole its way through modification of the molecular constitution of the oil? We can answer these questions. them, dodged the sentries, defied the point of the sword and now The physical properties of the oil distilled on brick are as fol! " has been imtwice bayonet." On the other hand, the plague low :-The colour is slightly yellow, its odour that of a mixture ported into Odessa within the last few years, " but by means of of thyme, naphtha, and turpentine. It is more limpid than the rigid quarantines and cordons, and the energy Count Woron- essence from which it is formed, the density of the former being zoff displayed in arresting its progress, such as hanging a Jew 0.8736, and after distillation, 0.8420. It begins to boil at 850 cent., but the temperature immediately rises to 154°, and remains who was about to violate the laws established, not a single death at this point nearly stationary. I have tried to isolate the more occurred without the city;the plague never got out of the gates." volatile part of the distillate, but without success. The unA very good case of diabetes mellitus is given, in which mode- changed oil boils at 1511 to 1580, whilst the distilled boils at 150°. I analyzed the modified oil, and found its composition precisely rate bleeding, animal diet, and lime water, with the use of the the same as the original. The nature of the modification in vapour bath, removed all signs of sugar from the urine. question being still obscure, during the last winter I employed. In the doctrine of fevers, though much credit is given to Dr. the apparatus for polarization belonging to the Hotel Dieu, to Stevens for his pathological and therapeutical researches, the pursue the inquiry, and I found that by its means I was able to the molecular change which the turpentine had underauthor leans to the opinions of Drs. Billing and Copland, that the perceive gone in becoming able to dissolve the caoutchouc. nerves are primarily affected, and that the alterations in the cirCommercial oil of turpentine, acting imperfectly upon caoutchouc, culating fluid are caused by the influence of the nervous system has a molecular rotation of 280,83. After distillation over a on the blood. In the treatment of ague, Sir George, like other naked fire this became —33°,23; its power of dissolving caoutchouc increasing with its power of molecular rotation. If has found that small doses of quinine produce very practitioners, the same essence, however, is modified by a temperature still more slight anti-periodic effects-the remedy lies in large doses of this elevated, as by distilling it on fragments of brick, its solvent medicine. In brow-ague, that almost modern and very trouble- power increases still further, but the change produced is accompanied by a considerable diminution in its rotatory power, which some affection, his experience leads him to sanction arsenic rather is then only-8°,68. than the preparations of quinine. Some interesting observations By varying the conditions under which the oil is distilled, are made on the influence of malaria in excitingbrow-ague, but various modifications are obtained, which prove that a substance he does not limit the action of malaria to the production of this with a definite composition may exist in several isomeric states. form of intermittent neuralgia only; he looks farther, and asIn a note, M. Bouchardat relates some signs to the same cause intermittent pains of a nervous character PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF INHALING TURPENTINE. in other parts of the body, as the knees, &c., when they occur in In experimenting upon turpentine, M. Bouchardat was conThis is a subject worthy of investigation. a malarious district. stantly exposed to the vapour in his laboratory, and for five or The latter part of the volume is taken up by some acute dis- six hours was little incommoded, but at night he became sleepwith a hot skin, and his pulse rose from 65 to less and quisitions on instinct and other mental phenomena, followed 86, wh 1stagitated, his urine gave pain on emission, and had the characterby an account of the peculiar modes of practice in vogue istic turpentine odour. On the following morning he experienced among our German neighbours, who, however advanced in phy- great languor, heaviness, pa:cin the loins, and incapacity for work, continuing two or th ee days, and he was obliged, by siology and other branches of the science of our profession, would these symptoms, to suspend his inquiries several times. M. seem in practice scarcely emancipated from vulgar errors. In Bouchardat thinks the turpentine is the cause of painter’s colic, conclusion, we cordially recommend Sir George Lefevre’s work to and that it should be ranked amongst the most virulent poisons.the medical profession. It will certainly repay perusal. Comptes Rendus, June 30th. -

211 THE ACID OF THE BEZOAR. tuated to contemplate the mind unconnected with its physical This acid (says M. WÖHLER) proves to be the ellagic acid oforgan, the brain, they often become eminent in their profession M. Braconnot. This is a remarkable fact. It proves that the without ever investigating closely the connexion between the matter of the bezoar is produced from the food of the animals, mind and brain, much less arriving at any clear and rational doubtless, the ellagic acid already formed, or tannic conclusions concerning it. But if it be true that the cortical or acid. The analyses of ellagic acid, formerly made by M. gray substance of the brain is the seat of the mental operations, Pelouze, assigns to it the formula C7 H2 O4 which differs from and the white or fibrous portion, like the nerves, only transmitmine only by half an equivalent of hydrogen-C14 H2 O7 + H0 ting its functions, then we should infer, à priori, that disease The last is probably the most exact.-(Letter from M. Wöhler to in those respective portions would be accompanied by derangement of the corresponding functions. And further, if the cortical M. Dumas, Comptes Rendus.) be made up of as many distinct organs as there are sepaportion ACTION OF SUGAR UPON THE TEETH. rate mental faculties, then we should equally expect to find disease FROM researches made on this subject, M. Larrey has come to in any one of those organs always accompanied by derangement the following conclusions :of the corresponding faculty. And hence, we not only arrive at 1. Refined cane, or beet-root sugar, is prejudicial to the teeth definite conclusions concerning the functions of different portions more from its direct contact than from the evolution of gaseous of the brain, but we are prepared, on the appearance of certain matter during digestion. symptoms, or the derangement of certain mental faculties, to 2. If a tooth be allowed to macerate in a saturated solution of predict the location and extent of the disease; or, on the appearsugar, it is so decomposed as to acquire almost a gelatinous ance of certain morbid changes after death, to determine, with character, while the enamel becomes opaque and spongy, and some degree of accuracy, the symptoms and mental disorders crumbles down under the slightest pressure. Sugar ought not, which must have preceded. The practical bearing and importance of these views cannot be doubted. The orly question is, therefore, to enter into the composition of tooth-powder. 3. The erosion of the teeth by this substance does not depend whether the propositions on which they are based are true? If on an acid, for none is present in sugar, but on the affinity which we appeal to morbid anatomy, the two following questions meet this organic principle has to enter into combination with the cal- us for a candid examination :careous base of the tooth. 1st. Is there a case on record in which morbid appearances 4. If the enamel be less attacked than the osseous part of the were observed in corresponding portions of the cortical substance tooth, the reason is, that it contains fluoride of calcium, a body of the brain, in both hemispheres, where the patient had not which resists chemical agency even more than the sulphate of lime. previously manifested corresponding mental derangement? 2nd. Is there a case on record in which the morbid appear[Remarks.-That sugar easily combines with lime, and forms a compound out of which the lime may be obtained crystallized ances had been confined exclusively to the medullary substance, in as carbonate, has been long known; but it is something new that which mental derangement had been present to any considerable it should thus exert a solvent power over the phosphate and car- extent? bonate of lime. M. Larrey’s last conclusion does not appear to Having carefully examined everything within our reach, us to be sound: the enamel contains only traces of fluoride of touching the subject, we answer the first question in the negacalcium, while the phosphate of lime forms seventy-eight per tive. The question is, not whether lesions of greater or less cent., and the rest is chiefly animal matter. A better reason will extent had been found in one hemisphere, without mental disbe found, probably, in its hardness and close texture. It would turbance ; neither is it whether organic lesions are perceptible be interesting to know whether these chemical results are borne in the brain in every case where death takes place during the out by observations made among those who are in the habit of existence of insanity. As well might we suppose that plucking taking large quantities of molasses and saccharine substances.- out the right eye would invariably destroy vision in the left also; or that organic lesions in the lungs would be found in every case ED. Medical Gazette. of death during difficult or disturbed respiration. Destroying one eye might indeed lessen the field of vision, and so might destruction or disease of a portion or the whole of one BRITISH AND AMERICAN MEDICAL hemisphere of the brain greatly lessen the vigour of the mind. JOURNALS. But have corresponding portions of the cortical substance of both been found diseased, without derangement or hemispheres ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A CORRECT PHYSIOLOGY OF THE BRAIN, destruction of some faculty of the mind? We have yet been unAND GREATER ACCURACY IN REPORTING POST-MORTEM EXable to find any such instance. AMINATIONS. By N. S. DAVIS, M.D., Binghamton, New York. But it must be confessed that the subject is attended with THE followiug remarks we consider worthy of careful perusal. some difficulty, on account of the ambiguity and indefiniteness Perhaps no one thing tends more to degrade the medical pro- ’i which characterize many reports of cerebral disease. This want of precision exists in many cases related by Aberfession, in the estimation of enlightened men, than the various I, uncertain and contradictory testimony often given by medical crombie, in his work on diseases of the brain, pages 105, 108, A great variety of 112. And, indeed, almost halt of the cases reported in the varimen on the same case in courts of justice. cases are continually occurring, in which the testimony of physious medical journals of the day are equally indefinite. They cians is required; and what other inference can be drawn from may prove what every pathologist already knows-viz., that certheir conflicting statements and conclusions, made up ostensibly tain parts of the brain may be diseased or destroyed, without from the same facts, than that the whole is a mere system of producing mental disturbance. Or they may even prove, what "guessing"-"a science without a single well-established prin- Projessor Sewell and other opponents of phrenological principle for its foundation." For instance, in testing the validity of ciples have asserted with apparent trinmpli -viz, that every a will, the attending physician is called, testifies that the testator, part of the brain has been destroyed by disease and injury, with. -while making the will, was labouring under inflammation of the out producing mental alienation-a fact of’ as much physiolobrain sufficient to confine him to bed, and to render active and gical importance as would be the assertion that in ten men all direct depletion necessary, and that individuals, under such cir- the organs of external sense were destroyed, and yet every indicumstances, would be likely to retain full possession of their mental vidual of the ten could feel, see, hear, taste, and smell. In studying the pathology of the brain, it is not enough to asfaculties. that half a pound of water has been effused ; or that Another, of equal celebrity, is called, and testifies, with much certain " there is an abscess in the right hemisphere," or a "coagulum apparent certainty, that a patient under such circumstances would not be likely to possess his mental faculties. A third, of blood in the left;" but we must first, if possible, rightly unequally entitled to confidence, maintains that the brain is com- derstand the symptoms during life, ascertaining not only that posed of a number of distinct organs, performing different func- the intellect is sane, but that all the moral faculties and propentions ; and that all would, therefore, depend on the particular sities are equally normal. And after death we must bestow the organ or organs affected. If we suppose that the witnesses are necessary labour to ascertain, with minuteness, the precise seat equally entitled to credit, is it not evident that no conclusion can and extent of the disease. If this were done by every observer, be legitimately drawn from their testimony. And yet more con- pathology would not long remain barren in its contributions to a tradictions than in the case supposed are almost daily occurring correct physiology of the whole nervous tissue. Of the importance of greater accuracy in the detail of cases, before our legal tribunals. To what, then, are they owing? To carelessness of observation, and want of candid investigation, or every one will be convinced who examines those already reto some radical defect or uncertainty in the science itself? corded, with the intention of drawing therefrom general concluBy far the most prevalent cause is carelessness and want of sions. In the present state of our knowledge, we believe there is minute investigation on the part of the great body of physicians. no case on record contradicting the general rule that disease in Being often taught, as a part of their primary education, the the cortical substance of the cerebral convolutions, in correspondmental or metaphysical philosophy of the schools,- and thus habi- ing parts of both hemispheres, is invariably attended with de-

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