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patient must be avoided, and visitors must be forbidden. The patient's room should rather be light than dark. His teaching crops up constantly in the centuries after his time, until the end of the nineteenth century, and while we now understand the causes of the condition better, we can do little more for it than he did.
Alexander divided mental diseases into two, the maniacal and melancholic. Mania was, however, really a further development of melancholia, and represented a high grade of insanity. Under melancholy he groups not only what we denominate by that term, but also all depressed conditions, and the paranoias, as also many cases of imbecility. The cause of mental diseases was to be found in the blood. He counselled the use of venesection, of laxatives and purgatives, of baths and stimulant remedies. He insisted very much, however, on mental influence in the disease, on change of place and air, visits to the theatre, and every possible form of mental diversion, as among the best remedial measures.
After his book on diseases of the head, his most important section is on diseases of the respiratory system. In this he treats first of angina, and recommends as gargles at the beginning light astringents; later stronger astringents, as alum and soda dissolved in warm water, should be employed. Warm compresses, venesection from the sublingual veins, and from the jugular, and purgatives in severe cases, are the further remedies. He treats of cough as a symptom due to hot or cold, dry or wet dyscrasias. Opium preparations carefully used are the
best remedies. The breathing in of steam impregnated with various ethereal resins, was also recommended.
He gives a rather interestingly modern treatment of consumption. He recommends an abundance of milk with a strong nutritious diet, as digestible as possible. A good auxiliary to this treatment was change of air, a sea voyage, and a stay at a watering-place. Asses' and mares' milk are much better for these patients than cows' and goats' milk. There is not enough difference in the composition of these various milks to make their special consumption of import, but it is probable that the suggestive influence of the taking of an unusual milk had a very favorable effect upon patients, and this effect was renewed frequently, so that much good was ultimately accomplished. For hemoptysis, especially when it was acute and due as Alexander thought to the rupture of a blood vessel in the lungs, he recommended the opening of a vein at the elbow or the ankle-in order to divert the blood from the place of rupture to the healthy parts of the circulation. He insisted that the patients must rest, that they should take acid and astringent drinks, that cold compresses should be placed upon the chest (our ice bags), and that they should take only a liquid diet at most lukewarm, or, better, if agreeable to them, cold. When the bleeding stopped, a milk cure was very useful for the restoration of these patients to strength.
It is not surprising, then, to find that Alexander suggests a thoroughly rational treatment for pleurisy. He recognizes this as an inflammation of the membrane covering the ribs, and its symptoms are severe pain, disturbance of breathing, and coughing. In certain cases there is severe fever, and Alexander knows of purulent pleurisy, and the fact that when pus is present the side on which it is is warmer than the other. Pleurisy can be, he says, rather easily confounded with certain liver affections, but there is a peculiar hardness of the pulse characteristic of pleurisy, and there is no expectoration in liver cases, though it also may be absent in many cases of pleurisy. Sufferers from liver disease usually have a paler color than pleuritics. His treatment consists in venesection, purgatives, and, when pus is formed, local incision. He recommends the laying on of sponges dipped in warm water, and the internal use of honey lemonade. Opium should not be used unless the patient suffers from sleeplessness.
Some of the general principles of therapeutics that Alexander lays down are very interesting, even from our modern standpoint. Trust should not be placed in any single method of treatment. Every available means of bringing relief to the patient should be tried. “The duty of the physician is to cool what is hot, to warm what is cold, to dry what is moist, and to moisten what is dry. He should look upon the patient as a besieged city, and try to rescue him with every means that art and science places at his command. The physician should be an inventor, and think out new ways and means by which the cure of the patient's affection and the relief of his symptoms may be brought about.” The most important factor in his therapeutics is diet. Metering mudaTVI DOTIKS 07 minna MEHME. vel m with. latiss and can laatiss, az CONTINET renommeenteet hy him. Te boud STDOISE groumd aans the hero nany amus, ar tier rape for merating Tie propiya o disasse is in Alexander's opinion tie important part of the physician aurk. Fits trumrem o dever sidoms tie application of a principle: void latins, coid conpresses, ERO E cooling dieet were his favorire remether. Er enrpuraged diamimresis weariT aivars. und EETE Win and stimulating drugs onit wier tie patient war trert wear. He differentiates tiro kinds of gwrtan fever. me of timesc ine attributes to an ziention of the spleen, because he had notieed tizat the spleen was enarged during it, and tirat, after purgation. five enlargedi speel decreased in size.
Alexander was a strong opponent of drastic remedies of all kinds. Ele did not believe in strong purgatives, nor in profuse and sudden blood-lettings. Ele opposed arteriotomy for this reason, and refused to employ extensive eauterization. His diagnosis is thorough and eareful. He insisted particularly on inspection and palpation of the whole body; on carefnl examination of the urine, of the feces, and the sputum; on study of the pulse and the breathing. He thonght that a great deal might be learned from the patient's history. The general constitution is also of importance. His therapeutics is, above all, individual. Premedies must be administered with careful reference to the constitution, the age, the sex, and the condition of the patient's strength. Special attention must always be paid to nature's efforts to cure, and these must be en
water that passed being weighed, in order to get very definite comparative values for the pulse rate under varying conditions, and also that the specific gravity of fluids from the body should be ascertained in order to get another definite datum in the knowledge of disease. It was long before these suggestions were to bear much fruit, but it is interesting to find them so clearly expressed.
At the very end of the Middle Ages came the father of modern pharmaceutical chemistry, Basil Valentine. Already the spirit that was to mean so much for scientific investigation in the Renaissance period was abroad. Valentine, however, owes little to anything except his own investigations, and they were surprisingly successful, considering the circumstances of time and place. His practical suggestions so far as drugs were concerned did not prove to have enduring value, but then this has been a fate shared by many of the masters of medicine. There were many phases of medical practice, however, that he insisted on in his works. He believed that the best agent for the cure of the disease was nature, and that the physician's main business must be to find out how nature worked, and then foster her efforts or endeavor to imitate them. He insisted, also that personal observation, both of patients and drugs, was more important than book knowledge. Indeed, he has some rather strong expressions with regard to the utter valuelessness of book information in subjects where actual experience and observation are necessary. It gives a conceit of knowledge quite unjustified by what is really known.