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May 6, 1939

MODERN METHODS OF TREATMENT OF DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Neurological Unit, Boston City Hospital, and the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School.

JAMA. 1939;112(18):1777-1781. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800180001001
Abstract

It has not been many years since neurology was widely considered a purely diagnostic specialty—a meditatio morbis. One can look through the pages devoted to nervous diseases in almost any textbook of medicine written before the war and find scarcely a single suggestion of treatment beyond arsenic, strychnine, bromides and electricity, aside from the more obvious indications for surgery.

Yet there are specific and effective forms of treatment for neurologic diseases, and their number has shown an astonishing growth during recent years. Since so few of them have found their way into the common body of medicine, I have thought it might be of interest to review them. In assembling such a summary, I find that as a matter of fact there is so much ground to cover that certain important territories will have to be omitted entirely.

Three large and significant fields about which I shall say little are

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