In 1915 Plessner1 reported before the Berlin Medical Society a study of four cases of industrial poisoning in which, in addition to vertigo, nausea, vomiting and papilledema, the patients showed signs of anesthesia of the face. Although the acute symptoms subsided in two weeks, the trigeminal anesthesia persisted after eight months. An investigation showed that these workers had employed a grease remover and constituent of shellac which contained tri-chlorethylene (CHCl = CCl2), a chemical which was held to be the probable cause of the intoxication.
At the suggestion of Oppenheim, who attended this meeting, Plessner used tri-chlorethylene in the treatment of patients suffering from tic douloureux and in 1916 reported relief in 85 per cent of the fourteen patients treated. Since this time a number of workers have used trichlorethylene in the treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, with varying results. Its usefulness is, perhaps, best reflected in the recent statistical
Rubinstein HS. USE OF TRI-CHLORETHYLENE IN THE TREATMENT OF MIGRAINE: Preliminary Report, With Study Of Six Cases. Arch NeurPsych. 1937;37(3):638–640. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1937.02260150168010
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