Reports of Societies

1907 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
said that we all realized that the world was full of wret chedness, deformity and disease ; that this was due to ignorance and cupidity, distributed well over the whole population from rich to poor. All realized the measures of relief must be a slow and gradual reform, conducted by a concentration of many influences, wielded by society ¡it large. All realized the obstacles to success, as well as the possibilities of abuse in the methods, and all knew the need of a directing influence which was
more » ... nfluence which was thoroughly informed and could be confidently intrusted with power. It was his belief that through the trust and the support of the general public, given to a conscientious medical profession, disinterested as a body, with identical concerns with the public, a highly comforting progress would soon be recorded. With a view to the hopeful advance of these noble and world-rewarding benefactions, the profession of medicine, without jealousy or thought of self-interest, should devote its wisest and most, faithful workers as chieftains; let the lay and the religious press, ever ready upon conviction as earnest and determined associates, with unremitting zeal uphold and champion the cause, and add to this the patient, and never-failing confidence of a liberal and trusting general public rallying its invincible support, and there would open up before the coming generation such a prospect of achievement and victory as would be a soul-satisfying record. NEURASTH ENIA GASTRICA. Dr. Clement R. Jones, of Pittsburg, reported four cases of this condition, and concluded that neurasthenia gástrica or nervous dyspepsia was frequently due to or complicated by eyestrain; that other gastric disturbiinc.es were, sometimes aggravated by eyestrain; that along with other points in the examination of gastric eases this should not be neglected. When eyestrain was the cause of gastric symptoms the relief by proper refraction was prompt and satisfactory. Dr. lt. D. Clippinger believed that eyestrain often produced all the symptoms of an old so-called dirimir gastritis. The general practitioner was apt to ignore I lie eyes. Dr. Mark D. Stevenson found that very many patients were relieved of nausea and vomiting by the wearing of proper lenses. Dr. (¡eorge P. Spragtje said that so-called gastric disturbances in neurasthenia were very often roundabout reflex disturbances due to vertigo; in one case a lack of equilibrium due to a visual defect; in some other case not. lie found very commonly in sending neurasthenics to oculists for the correction of eyestrain that until the attention of the oculist was called to the possible psychic connection between the patient's condition and the visual defect, he very often failed to give, the correction, which he could and did do after that had been called to his attention. REINFECTION WITH SYPHILIS. Dr. A. IT. Williams, of Hot Springs, Ark., had seen ¡i number of cases in which he liad suspected reinfection. In many the history of the first attack was indefinite and unreliable. In but very few cases was the history sufficiently plain to make anything like a positive diagnosis of a second attack, lie cited two cases in which the symptoms and history were so plain that, he thought he could safely claim both as cases of reinfection. TOXEMIA FROM THE STANDPOINT OF PERVERTED METABOLISM. Dr. Ralph W. Webster, of Chicago, III., ((in-cluded that toxemia, aside from that following the acute or chronic bacterial processes, was always of metabolic origin. The toxemias under discussion were more the effects of ¡i general metabolic perversion than of :i direct organic disorder. A specific toxemia, in the sense that it was due to a specific substance, was unknown in the class of toxemias treated. of Hartford, Conn., showed the intimate associations of alcohol with a large part of the mortality, disease and degeneration of the present time, and urged the profession to lake up the physical study of I he subject. He showed that the mortality from alcohol, both direct and indirect, was from 10% to 20% of all deaths, and at least 10% of all diseases were very largely influenced and due In this cause ; also that from 20% to 50% of all men! al diseases and 50% of idiocy, pauperism and other degenerative conditions had an alcoholic causation. Fifty per cent of ¡ill criminals serving sentences for crime in 1900 were due to fche influence of alcohol. Nearly half a million persons came under legal recognition for intoxication and petty crimes List year. Reliable authorities showed that 50% of all railroad and other accidents were due to the mistakes of persons under the influence of spirits. Beyond this the losses, the revolutions and injuries noted in every community assumed great proportions. This problem was a physical and medical one. Every advance in science showed that there were physical causes which developed from distinct sources which could lie studied and known, and that the whole subject was not a mass of theories, but one of facts (he same as that of epidemic and contagious diseases. The evils had reached such a stage that public opinion was making Herculean efforts along theoretical lines to overcome and break it up. The author urged that, it was a medical subject, to be understood by medical men. When the facts were studied
doi:10.1056/nejm190712051572306 fatcat:iqn74rul2zcwtdgvlryujx6qfa