Editorials

1889 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
found between the crura. He thought such ataxia was to be accounted for by pressure upon the motor tracts or motor nuclei. To him the most puzzling feature of Dr. Starr's case was the absence of blindness. As to the nystagmus, it had as yet in his opinion no localizing value. He had seen two cases with lesions of the quadrigeminal bodies but without nystagmus. Dr. Leszynsky said the child may have had only central vision which might explain the presence of nystagmus, but Dr. Starr answered that
more » ... Starr answered that the visional fields were normal. Dr. Sachs was reminded of Meynert's case of tumor in both optic thalami with ataxia similar to that of Dr. Starr's case. He thought the thalami might have been pressed upon in the latter, but still was not sure that would cause the ataxia. Ile considered nystagmus very frequent in many central disorders of children. Dit. IL M. Lyman referred to a case he had seen recently of defective cerebral development in a child where there was also nystagmus. Dr. Gray asked how a diagnosis of intracranial tumor had been made so early in this case, and was answered that the diagnosis had not been made until ¡dl the symptoms described had made their appearance. Dr. Hammond thought ataxia depended upon injury to the optic thalami or corpora striatai and referred to a case of Weir Mitchell's, in which there was a remarkable unilateral ataxia with a lesion of the optic thalamus and corpus striatum upon the opposite side. Dit. Les/.vnsky saw a child several years ago with well-marked nystagmus which disappeared in the course of time. There was no discoverable cause. The following gentlemen were then elected to active membership : Dr. C. Eugene Riggs, of St. Paul, Minn. ; Dr. II. S. Upton, of Cleveland, 0. (To be continued.) -In summing up the Maybrick case, Justice Stephen's remarks were rather severe upon " expert testimony," medical and other. He warned the juryabout the uncertainty of medical science, or rather art, and reminded them of the old saying which described " a doctor " as " a man who passed his time in ¡Hitting drugs of which he knew little into a body of which he knew less." He also had a fling at the experts in other fields who appear before parliamentary committees and the like. He said a man going on the stand, and " calling himself this, that, or the other, by no means qualified him to receive unhesitating belief." " A great deal of what he might call scum had to be taken off the testimony of skilled witnesses, for of course, probably insensibly to themselves they were apt to become advocates rather than witnesses." -A species of fraud which it would be difficult for any " confidence man " to imitate in this country has lately been made the subject of judicial investigation in England, where a doctor has been making a practice of buying medical practices, holding them a little time and then selling out at a large premium on the strength of false representations as to their value. He bought one for .£250, aud sold it in thirteen months for £650. MONALIS. For a time subsequent to Koch's discovery of the microbic origin of tuberculosis the special attention of experimental therapeutists waB directed to the various antiseptic methods which it was hoped might rid tuberculous subjects of the germs whose depredations in the pulmonary textures constituted phthisis pulmonalis. Inhalations took a prominent place; creasote, carbolic acid, sulphuretted hydrogen, eucalyptus, turpentine, hydrofluoric acid, have all had their advocates and their day. Bergeron's gaseous rectal injections of hydrogen sulphide were given with the same intent, the belief being entertained that the hydrogen sulphide introduced by the rectum would, in being eliminated by the pulmonary mucous membrane, destroy the tubercle bacilli there pullulating. It must be confessed that the results of the germicide treatment have not been what was hoped. Experiments in the laboratory seemed to have shown that fluorhydric vapors were especially obnoxious to the tubercle bacilli. Hippolyte Martin had signalized the parasiticide effect of this acid, which in the proportion of 1 por 4000, appears to be destructive to Koch's bacillus. Jaccoud's laboratory experiments, it is true, were contradictory to those of Martin. Leiter and Garcin, subsequently Gautrelet, published papers in which the curative benefits of fluorhydric inhalations were vaunted; but other clinicians failed to confirm these results. Thus, during the course of the last year, Grancher and Chantard undertook a double series of experiments to test the value of fluorhydric inhalations in phthisis. In the first series, they came to the conclusion, "that the action of the vapors of fluorhydric acid on the evolution of experimental tuberculosis is nil." This conclusion was only strengthened by the results of the second series, where they studied comparatively the effects of pure tuberculosis cultures, and of cultures previously subjected to hydrofluoric
doi:10.1056/nejm188908221210807 fatcat:bx6vqubwnvgsli6yjcuizvoj24