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October 1932

TREATMENT OF EPIDEMIC ENCEPHALITISA REVIEW OF THE WORK OF THE MATHESON COMMISSION

Arch NeurPsych. 1932;28(4):897-907. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1932.02240040142010
Abstract

The treatment of epidemic encephalitis is purely empiric. The causative agent has not been definitely proved. Of course, determining this might not be of much help in therapy. This is certainly true in the therapy of infantile paralysis, which is known through experimental transmission to be due to a specific filtrable virus. Moreover, the finding of a specific method of treatment need not wait on the determination of the cause. It was known that quinine was specific in malaria and mercury in syphilis long before the plasmodium of malaria or Spirochaeta pallida was discovered. Certainly the effects of epidemic encephalitis are so terrible that finding a cure for this disease is one of the most challenging problems that confronts the medical profession.

The course of epidemic encephalitis is such that an estimate of the therapeutic value of any agent is extremely difficult to make. The mortality of the acute stage

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