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April 2, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(14):1212. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730400090035

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This posthumous publication is an important contribution, especially for the research student, as it opens a new path in the study of the protection conferred on the nervous system by various neurotropic substances against one another. The shepherds of Auvergne had observed that the sheep, browsing in the early spring on the broom tops peeping above the snowy carpet, not only became slow in their movements (because of sparteine poisoning) but during this time were apparently immune to viper's venom. The impressions of the peasants, verified by laboratory experiments on guinea-pigs by the author, started him to work on the thesis that when one poison with selective affinity on the nervous system becomes fixed in the lipoids of the nerve cells, others of feebler affinity cannot displace it and reach their goal. Further studies suggest that this displacement occurs in accordance with the relative affinities of the substances for the

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