E. W. Taylor
1908 Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease  
401 mortem fluids they were led to believe that the Kornschen cell and per¬ haps the phagocytic endothelial cell may be of diagnostic value in organic conditions. The value of this method then lies in the possibility of ob¬ taining by it beautiful cell pictures by which the diagnosis of general paresis is greatly aided, and by which cells characteristic of cerebral softening or even of tumor might be recognized if seen. Attempts have been made to determine this reactivating power of human blood
more » ... ower of human blood in order to gain some idea of the resistance of the indi¬ vidual to bacterial infection, but hitherto no reliable method has been offered by which the sera of different individuals may be compared. It was found that red blood cells which had been saturated with, inactivated specific immune serum from an animal of another species offered in a given dosage a relatively fixed unit for the determination of the re¬ activating power of the blood. By means of this method the alexic con¬ tent was determined in a number of patients suffering from different types of insanity, but physically well. No constant differences in alexic activity were noted in relation to forms of insanity, The marked corre¬ spondence of alexic power in these patients will probably serve as a basis for a normal mean by comparison with which similar determinations in cases of acute infectious disease may offer results of prognostic value. Dr. Southard mentioned briefly a case of general paresis developing in an alcoholic. The patient was always spastic in legs during observation and some weeks before death showed signs of fresh lesions in the motor zones. The microscopic examination of the spinal cord showed a long¬ standing bilateral pyramidal tract sclerosis (Weigert's myelin sheath method) as well as a fresh degeneration, also bilateral, in the same region (Marchi method). The recent Marchi degeneration differed qualitatively in the different segments, gradually altering from groups of fat and myelin containing perivascular cells below to wholly intrafibrous blacken¬ ing in the upper cervical segments. Dr. Southard employed these findings as logical support for the idea that the nerve fibers were undergoing a chronic progressive atrophy rather than the effects of local destruction. The cortical findings were somewhat confirmatory of this idea, since the cells of origin (such as had survived the original lesion) showed "neuronophagia " rather than axonal reactions.
doi:10.1097/00005053-190806000-00015 fatcat:5kq6zg7vz5gnrchyxxn44s7xta