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October 17, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(16):1152-1153. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730160034011

Bromine has remained one of the most interesting and puzzling chemical elements in medicine, especially as regards the more or less specific central actions of bromide ions. The efficiency of sodium or potassium bromide in epilepsy has been sometimes regarded as a matter of saturation of the specific tissue with the bromide, a phenomenon which would seem to imply a direct and selective action on the central nervous system. Recently bromides have been tried as a test for the permeability of the so-called cerebrospinal barrier; estimations of the bromide content in cerebrospinal fluid have acquired a certain popularity. This test also implies an efficient cerebral penetration of bromides. If this were true, a correlation of cause and effect would be suggested. However, satisfactory evidence of a possible selective distribution in the central nervous system has been lacking. It would seem that the proper application of quantitative methods should give the

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