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THE SEASONS AND MENTAL DISORDERS.

THE SEASONS AND MENTAL DISORDERS.

733 passed for anyone to say what is the wattage that can be analyse the admissions made into this house during the past safely applied to the body, ...

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passed for anyone to say what is the wattage that can be analyse the admissions made into this house during the past safely applied to the body, upon what authority does he 25 years, assigning to each the month on which the admission rely ? Then he goes on to assert that he would not like to be took place. The results now before me show a not greatly divergent the " victim" of the experiment of having 400 watts applied to his body, while on his own showing he subjected incidence in the various months. I need not give all the his patients to 40,000 watts. Regarding the other points in figures in detail ; it may suffice here to say that July stands Dr. Sloan’s letter it is unnecessary for me to restate what I some 25 per cent. above every other month, whilst the have already explained. However, there is one point I wish lowest figures are recorded at the beginning and end of the to touch upon. He stated that I answered one of the year, with some exceptions. The meaning of those figures questions at the end of his paper. What I actually did was is open to a variety of interpretation, and it would be of to deal, not with a question at the close, but with a query in interest to ascertain how far they are borne out by the experithe body of his paper. In the experiments he is carrying ence of other and larger communities. As far as my own out to determine the difference in the physiological effects statistics are concerned, one significant fact predominatesof currents by varying the frequencies he will no doubt see viz., that July, which is, or which ought to be, one of the the necessity for definite data, and let me assure him he can hottest months of the year, has the highest average, whilst June comes within the next column of figures. claim no priority in the idea. One may not unnaturally infer from this that the restI shall be pleased to demonstrate to Dr. Sloan that five amperes at 100 volts can be passed through, or " in and out lessness and sleeplessness often induced by high temperaof, the body, and I can promise him that the ’’ victims" of tures, to say nothing of the bodily exhaustion produced by the experiment will be none the worse. I can give him this extreme heat, are not without their influence as factors of assurance with the greatest confidence because I have the increase in question, and we have only to note the already done it with perfect safety. Further, I shall be frequency of mental breakdown in tropical countries for pleased to place every means at his disposal to test the confirmatory evidence. I am, Sirs, yours faithfully, accuracy of the experiment and, if necessary, to supply "

him with the " victims." I have noted what Dr. Sloan has deemed to be the necessary qualification before one can become a member of his scientific investigatory committee. Whether or not I possess this qualification it is not for me to say. The object of my criticism will have been served if attention has been directed to the danger of drawing hasty conclusions from highfrequency currents experiments, based upon data which cannot bear the test of scientific investigation. T

am.

Sirs.

Cardiff, August 29th, 1907.

vours

West

JAMES ADAM.

Moling. Kent, August 24th, 1907.

IMITATION NAUHEIM BATHS. .

To the Editors of THE LANCET. SIRS,-So-called imitations of the Nauheim bath are now generally employed that it may be worth while pointing out what a difference there is between the cutaneous reaction excited by the effervescing waters of Nauheim and that yielded by water through which carbonic acid gas is merely passed or in which it is generated. At Nauheim, and to a less extent in baths in which the gas is generated by chemical interaction, the skin becomes covered with minute globules of the gas and on emerging therefrom the subject rivals in hue with the " cardinal of the seas." On this cutaneous reaction depends in part the influence of the Nauheim baths on the circulation, and as it is practically absent when compressed carbonic gas is merely passed through the water of the bath the value of this popular means of aeration must be very small. The difEerIf the ence is well exemplified in the ordinary gazogene. water be withdrawn soon after filling, or even within the first few hours after charging, it gives off but little gas and tastes flat," showing that a certain lapse of time is necessary for the gas to become dissolved. Futher experiment will show that passing carbonic acid through water leaves the latter virtually unchanged. Whatever therapeutical value the Nauheim bath possesses in virtue of its gaseous constituent is due to the latter being in a state of aqueous solution, ready to be set free when the solution comes into contact with the skin. While it may be conceded that the effects of the Nauheim treatment are only in a minor degree dependent on the action of the gas, this action is lacking when the gas is merely passed through the w 1ter. To be operative the gas would require to be left in contact with the water in a cylinder under pressure for at least 12 hours before being employed.

so

faithfnllv-

J. CUNNINGHAM BOWIE.

THE PRINCIPLES OF VACCINE-THERAPY. To tke Editors of THE LANCET. SIRS,-I have read with great interest Sir A. E. Wright’s lecture on this subject published in THE LANCET of August 17th and 24th. The illustration he gives of the value of a solution of sodium citrate 0.5per cent. and sodium chloride 5 per cent. in dealing with certain localised morbid conditions seems to be capable of more general application. It has occurred to me that some trial of the method might be made in the case of septic infections of the uterus. The more or less complete and often long-continued cessation of the lochia in some of the more malignant forms of puerperal sepsis is well known. As the conditions in septic endometritis are to a greater or less degree-depending on the grade and mode of spread of the infectioncomparable to those obtaining in the instance cited, it seems reasonable to assume that a like beneficial effect might be expected in at least some cases. The procedure at any rate could do no harm. Probably where the spread of the infection is by way of the blood-vessels-as, unfortunately, is most frequent in the case of streptococcic endometritis-we ought not to look for so favourable a result. Where, however, dissemination follows the lymph-channels a blocking of these would lead toa lessened access of serum to the mucous surface and hence a deficiency of bacteriotropic substances in the endometrium and deeper-lying tissue. Without going into details it seems possible, e.g., by elevating the buttocks, to cause some of the solution to be retained in the uterus after douching in the ordinary way. The action of the two constituent salts would nere be precisely as in the case of a sinus. I am. Sirs. vours faithfullv. A. G. BANKS. London, S.W., August 26th, 1907.

THE SEASONS AND MENTAL DISORDERS. 10 the Editors of THE LANCET. SIRS,-This question, the relations which the seasons bear to the incidence of mental disorders, one of considerable interest, was discussed in the medical journals some time ago. I regret that I am now unable to lay hands upon the particular journals in which the discussion took place, but its nature was such as to induce the desire to seek further definite facts for its elucidation. I proceeded, therefore, to

T

Aix-les-Bains

(Savoie).

Sirs

yours

ALFRED

faithfully

S.

GUBB, M.D. Paris.

BUTTERMILK IN ENTERIC DISEASE. To the .Editors of THE LANCET.

SIRS,-The difficulty often experienced by the practitioner

in finding any food which can be retained by infants and young children suffering from acute or chronic febrile diarrhoea with vomiting, especially in warm climates, induces me to bring to the notice of your readers a preparation which has a great reputation in the Argentine Republic in cases of this kind and which I cannot find mentioned in any of the books on "Diseases of Children" at my disposal. It might be found useful in the treatment of summer diarrhoea at home. It is sterilised buttermilk, sweetened, and is prepared as follows: Fresh buttermilk is slowly boiled in an earthenware vessel for half an hour-one litre (about 35 fluid ounces) will last for 24 hours-and while gently boiling from five to six dessertspoonfuls of powdered white sugar are added. It must be continually stirred with